Many of you on that small planet I created a few eons ago
think of me as God; but, for reasons that make more sense to you than to me,
some call me by other names.
Lots of you don't call me at all, which is regrettable, but I left that choice
to you, under the Free Will policy I instituted with Adam and Eve.
There are also some person-made complexities as to my nature, my prescribed
rules for your behavior and the relationship between me and 'thee.' (That
example of archaic language is one thing I could do without, by the way.)
These differences among you only bother me, though, when you kids get into
squabbles, such as when subgroups among you claim to be superior to others. In
my house, there are many rooms, so there's no need to fight over whose space is
Anyway, this isn't about that heavy stuff.
I started you off down there with a few simple rules - such as caring about each
other - and I often wish you hadn't gummed things up with false pride, excessive
greed, power struggles, sheer meanness, and quibbling about how many angels can
dance on the head of a pin. (I've never given that question much thought, by the
This letter is about the "Father" business.
I happen to like that title best of all, because it means someone who is not
only respected and loved, but, more importantly, someone who cares enough about
his children to support and guide them through the problems they encounter in
That's the job I like best, that's the stuff I most like to hear from you about,
and that IS the subject matter at hand. (Sorry it took me so long to get around
to it, but you must allow for the fact that I'm working through an aging and
If you think of me as your Father (and please do!), for heaven's sake, talk to
me as you would to a human Dad. Okay, I'm a few cuts above that in the pecking
order, but I'm still basically a Dad in my heart of hearts.
So, instead of always "praying" to me in stilted language, why not just talk to
me as though you were sitting on my knee? (Never mind that I don't actually have
one; that's the sort of irrelevant diversion that keeps us apart.)
My most famous son referred to me as Abba in that nice piece of work I helped
Mark to write (14.36, if you want to look it up). Technically, the word means
God, but at the time he used it, in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was hurting a
lot, and I interpreted "Abba" as meaning the same as "Daddy" in your language.
In times like that, he and I never stood on ceremony, and we didn't use stuffy
When he needed me, he always knew I was there for him. You can know (as in
"believe") the same.
I'm not your Father on an "if" or "when" basis. I love you, regardless of who
you are or what you've done. You're my kid, even when you've screwed things up -
never forget that!
Remember, too, that I can and will forgive your screw-ups (read trespasses or
debts, if you'd prefer), and my forgiveness is unconditional. That's one godly
talent I pretty much reserve to myself, but it wouldn't hurt you to try
In return, I only ask that you love (i.e., care about) your neighbor, even those
miserable so-and-sos whose guts you hate with a passion.
The opposite of love, you see, is not hate, but indifference.
Please don't stand on ceremony with me. You want something, and you want it
big-time? Tell me so. I may not always give it to you, but I'll always listen,
and I'll always understand your feelings; that's what Dads do, even when they
can't turn every dream into reality.
If you're unhappy with me, say so, and tell me why; that's what kids do, even
when they're dead wrong. (If you're a parent, you already know that, don't
When you think I've helped you, be sure to say "thanks," and when you think I've
come up short, keep on nagging me; that's how children wear down their parents,
and I'm no exception to that weakness.
So, what's on your mind, kid?
Abba (a.k.a. Dad)