My god was like an old, old man
(But vigorous still, and strong)
Who sat upon a golden throne
Surrounded by a throng
Of angels, dressed in purest white
(And never other hues).
And as god didn’t move a lot
But mostly sat in this same spot
The angels darted to and fro
And brought and carried news.
My god was like an ancient sage
Who wrote a sacred text
Which humans – not so very bright –
Could read, and look perplexed
And not agree on what was meant,
Although they surely knew
The words were wise beyond compare –
There one could find, and only there,
What to believe and do.
My god was like a mighty judge
Presiding in his court
And frowning, for the things folks did
Were not the things they ought.
And punishments were justly given
For every naughty deed
(Like rising late, and chewing gum
And giving cheek to dad or mum)
And every naughty thought.
Well, I grew up, rebelled, and learnt to doubt,
And so I put away these childish things.
I asked “So where is God, and what’s He doing?”
God left his throne, and filled the universe
And all the host of heaven flew away.
And looking at the sacred texts I asked
“Who really wrote these words, whose thoughts are they?”
And armed with modern text analysis
Saw not the Word of God, but words of men,
Words of their time, and not forever true.
And looking at the folk that God would judge
I asked, “How will He part the good from bad?”
For some from foulest motives did good things,
And some the worst things in the name of love,
So none could merit either heaven nor hell.
I damned the Day of Judgement, and St Peter
Closed his book, and threw away his keys.
So God became the Ground of all our Being,
The Page on Which the Universe is Writ,
The Moral Framework of the Universe,
The Primal Cause, and many other things
Which needed to be typed with Upper Case.
But when God surprises us with a burst of magpie song,
An ultrasound showing a tiny heart beat,
With a butterfly that looks like a little green leaf,
An ugly black fly that has six golden feet,
Then all images of their creator blur and fade
And all words lose their power of suggestion.
God is the answer, now all that remains
Is to frame the right question.