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Friday, October 21, 2016

Faith of my Fathers

For Clyas L. Crenshaw (Papa)

Faith is snuggling up to my Papa

on that hard church pew every Sunday morning.

Thinking this is what God must be like,

steady, strong, and tenderly holding my hand.

The way his soul would sing those hymns,

his rich baritone filling each word to the bursting,

moved my little girl heart, and lifted me as an offering to Jesus.

“Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art”

spilling forth with passionate love.

In those innocent eyes, my Father in heaven

looked exactly like the grandfather beside me.

Thirty years later, I’m still praying his prayers.

‘We thank You for food and remember the hungry,’

and always, ‘Bless our bodies to Thy service.’

Words that will forever be imprinted on my daily existence,

repeated as muscle memory.

The only time I saw him cry was in a hospital,

head bowed, at his granddaughter’s side, praying,

his voice a complex mixture of desperation and trust;

“Heavenly Father, heal her.”

My hero and my faith so intertwined,

I cannot separate the two.

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