Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Child’s Prayer


There are times at church I can’t bring myself to choke out another male pronoun. I would attempt to sing the hymns, but I could only mouth the lyrics in silence. I couldn’t even say His name. It felt dishonest to sing praises to His name, yet the silence of my praise felt equally dishonest.

Some time ago, I can’t say for sure when, I began substituting female deity pronouns for male deity pronouns while singing. I was quite shy at first. My vocals were hardly even noticeable. Who knew what kind of social ramifications awaited me if they knew I sang praises to our female deity? However, over time, the tameness of my vocals melted away each Sunday until I was confident enough to sing out female pronouns at a comparable volume to the rest of my fellow congregants. When I sing about Her, I’m sometimes reminded that perhaps as a woman I, too, am of a divine nature. Perhaps there is more waiting to be discovered beyond the emptiness of the projected narrative. Perhaps there is more to my future awaiting my initiation.

It’s not a significant change, nor do I expect my humble voice to sway the direction of the entire choir, but at the very least my song is now honest.

Heavenly Mother, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev'ry child's prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Mother, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
"Suffer the children to come to me."
Mother, in prayer I'm coming now to thee.

Pray, She is there;
Speak, She is list'ning.
You are Her child;
Her love now surrounds you.
She hears your prayer;
She loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav'n.

*Adaptation of A Child's Prayer