I’ve had several recent requests from readers to explain the origin of my use of the term, “Papa God” in my books. I’d be happy to oblige.
I guess it’s one of those things you do that is so much a part of you that you don’t think about it anymore. Like parting your hair on the left. Or tucking your shirttail in when the rest of the fashion world wears theirs out (I’m aware only because my daughter often rebukes me for this).
Anyway, it all started back in 2004 when I began working on my first book, The Distant Shore, which released in 2007. Up to that point, I had only written considerably shorter pieces in the form of magazine and newspaper articles, so expanding my thoughts into a full sized book was quite a challenge.
The main story line is based on the true story of a young girl who is sent away from her family – for reasons unknown to her at the time – to live on the then remote, untamed Merritt Island of 1904. Emma-Lee finds life with crusty spinster Aunt Augusta very lonely and discouraging until she is befriended by kindly Captain Stone, a freighter captain.
Captain Stone is a godly man and introduces Emma-Lee to his beloved Heavenly Father, who Emma-Lee embraces as her surrogate father … the heavenly Papa who will never abandon or forsake her like her earthly papa has done. She begins referring to Him as Papa God, and seeing the Almighty through the lens of the unconditional love of a faithful parent fills a gaping hole in her heart.
One of the things I really wanted to portray in the book was the personal relationship we can have with the Lord, our Abba as one of the ways the Aramaic Bible refers to Him. Abba is the intimate form of Father, which translates loosely as Daddy, or in my mind as Papa.
So as Emma-Lee discovered the loyal, limitless, lovingkindness side of her Papa God, so did I. I’ve referred to Him as Papa God ever since.
I invite you to join me. I think you’ll be surprised how quickly and almost magically the secret deep longing in your heart for nonjudgmental, all-accepting, all-forgiving love will be fulfilled. He’s your Papa too.
So tell me – how do you view God?
P.S. A funny little tidbit for you: After a speaking gig not long ago, a lovely lady from the audience approached me In her thick German accent, she introduced herself and then said something that ’bout made me drop my teeth. “In Germany,” she said, “we say someone is from the distant shore to mean they are gay.”
Ha! I guess that particular book won’t be translated into German anytime soon, since Emma-Lee is only ten.