Tuesday, August 8, 2023

My four-year-old theology professor

When my grandson was four-years-old,
he explained the Trinity to me,

what he had gleaned from Sunday school
and the Bible stories his mother read to him.
He told me the Trinity meant
the Father, his Son, and Andy.
Who? Andy, he repeated.
Before the greatest mystery of theology,
this little boy was not confused,
now that he had the names.

I was confused. The Spirit
had always seemed the most elusive
member of the holy Threesome.
Dove. Wind. Breath. Water.
Hard to relate to.

Days later I overhead my grandson
singing one of the hymns
he had learned in that Sunday school.
As he sang the chorus in his still baby voice,
I finally got it. He sang,
“Andy walks with me. Andy talks with me.
Andy tells me I am his own.”

Of course. Spirit is God-up-close.
God who walks by my side.
Who tells me secrets.
Closer than a sister or brother.

I’ve never been drawn to call her Andy.
But in the early morning hours,
as I sit in my chair by the window,
I sometimes whisper, “Sister. Mother.
Best friend. Yes, yes, yes.”
Sometimes I call her Andrea.
I sense her smile.

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