Christianity, Poetry

Rob’s God by Gerard Kelly

I was introduced to this poem this evening and I wanted to share it with you today. It is written by Gerard Kelly in memoriam of Rob Lacey, an author who wrote a version of the Bible called “The Street Bible”. 

I want to follow Rob’s God;
God the goal of my soul’s education.

Rob’s God is approachable, articulate and artful,
A glowing God, of graceful inclination.

Rob’s God snowboards cloudscapes
And paints daisies on his toes,
While watching Chaplin re-runs
On his i-Pod.
He smiles at cats and children,
Jumps in puddles with his shoes on,
A ‘where’s-the-fun -in-fundamentalism?’ God.

Rob’s God doesn’t shoot
His own wounded,
Or blame the poor for failing
At prosperity.
He doesn’t beat the broken
With bruised reeds from their garden,
Or tell the sick that healing’s their responsibility.

Rob’s God is a poet,
Painting people as his poems;
A sculptor shaping symphonies from stone
A maker of mosaics
Curator of collages
Woven from the wounds and wonders
We have known.

A furnace of forgiveness;
Rob’s God radiates reunion
Pouring oil on every fight
We’ve ever started
A living lover
Loving laughter
Lending light
To the helpless and the harmed and heavy-hearted

Other Gods may claim more crowded churches
Higher profiles
Better ratings
Fuller phone-ins
But in the contest for commitment
In the battle for belief
In the war to woo my worship;
Rob’s God wins
In the fight for my faith’s fervour:
In the struggle for my soul;
In the race for my respect
Rob’s God wins.

Gerard Kelly May 11th 2006

A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. (Isaiah 42:3)

I love this. It challenges so many pre-conceptions about God that many people have and it offers a comforting and nurturing view of the God that I personally know.

My favourite part is “He doesn’t beat the broken/With bruised reeds from their garden,/Or tell the sick that healing’s their responsibility”. It speaks to me of compassion and love, and the total opposite of what our society – and especially our Government – expects from people who are ill, depressed, weak, sick and broken. It sounds to me like a rallying call from God to get out there and change that view.


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