Daddy laid the lion across the top step leading into our single-wide trailer. Like a farm cat proffering a slain field mouse as a fit sacrifice and feat of strength to his human, Daddy’s eyes gleamed with pride. His grin widened when in reverence I whispered, “You killed a lion!” As a three-year old, I did not know the difference between a bobcat and a lion. With sharp teeth and sharper claws, either could kill me. I knew all I needed to know. Daddy could kill lions. I suppose Daddy knew what he needed to know, as well. At least he could keep me safe from lions. This is my first memory. Little did I know when I was three, lions are the easiest predators to keep at bay.
© Amy Persons Parkes 2012
While the earth and the sun
and the mountains and the streams
sing your praise, great God of heaven,
I offer a little praise of my own.
Praise God, with muddy floors and sticky counters.
Praise God, with dusty computers and lint-filled dryers.
Praise God, with toothpaste on shower curtain.
Praise God, with big smiles and loose teeth.
Praise God, with cardboard boxes transformed into time machines.
Praise God, with low bank balances and big bills.
Praise God, with no meal plan one hour before dinner.
Praise God, with children – sick and late to school.
Praise God, with Sunday school lesson half-way prepared and wrinkled dress.
Praise God, with sniffling noses and uncombed hair.
Praise God, with gutter leaning and shutter peeling.
Praise God, with one hubcap missing.
Praise God, with litter box in need of cleaning.
Praise God, with mascara smudged and a cut from shaving.
Praise God, with shoe soles flapping and missing buttons.
Praise God, with deadline looming and surprise visitor.
Praise God, with broken toe plus an unruly in-law.
In all times and in all places,
Written as part of the final project for the Academy of Spiritual Formation #30 and appropriate for Thanksgiving.
© Amy Persons Parkes, 2011.
and in all manner of faces and spaces,
let all that is real and immediate and present
bellow and whisper
scream and whimper
cheer and wail
praise to you, O God,
creator, sister, sustainer.