By Hamilton Williams and Ami Regier
We playfully revised “The Lord’s Prayer” during a long night drive across the country. The spirit of Gordon Kaufman, author of In the Beginning, Creativity, came to our aid when we realized we could no longer utter the familiar prayer that speaks through medieval, feudal, patriarchal metaphors: lord, kingdom, father. We perceive creativity as well as the ideologies of time and place inhabiting the ancient words of the scriptural prayer. We imagine the ancient prayer is still unfinished. We hear other voices with their lists of deliverances through time. We hope others will offer infinite and contesting revisions, reflecting their perspectives and language. We know our voice in this poem escalates here and there with our ideological issues of the millennial moment. We hear in the occasionally wrenched cadence much ongoing wrestling with religious inheritances. We hope for cross-cultural religious intersections. We imagine a reverse occupation, whereby the religious tradition that occupied indigenous religious spaces could be in turn re-occupied, in the spirit of the Occupy movement, of course! We share a tendency to experience religious language as struggle and transformation. Gordon Kaufman recommended addressing divinity as a non-anthropomorphic construct, Creativity:
Our Creativity, which stretches throughout the universe,
Hallowed be thy energies.
Thy challenges come, as true human beings we become
Changed by the garden, and changed by the sky.
Mutate us this day our daily being.
Forgive us for climate change, as we forgive those one-percenters who duped us, those trespassers.
Forgive us our blindnesses.
Transform our biases – for example, the blindness of whiteness.
Lead us away from capitalism and into social embraces.
Deliver us from individualism and cultural stagnation.
Guide us away from GMO biological manipulation, to respect culture and food sovereignty.
Protect us from privatization and its refusal of public good.
Bring us the grace of earth and heaven, as we restore the indigenous values of your being.
For creativity has the power and glory to transform us, forever and ever.