It was my pleasure to meet Kenton Pies, the artist who created the new dragon in Deane’s Children’s Park (aka Dragon Park), four months ago. At the dedication ceremony for the whimsical character last November, Mr. Pies was introduced. He proceeded to give a background for the dragon’s creation. I was fascinated to discover that this gifted man was also the individual who had sculpted the previous landmark on which children had climbed for half a century.
As I visited with Mr. Pies at the festive occasion, he smiled when he learned that I was a clergyman. Unsolicited, the 80-something sculptor told me he had wished that a blessing for his beast had been incorporated into the program. He admitted to being disappointed that “separation of church and state” was used to explain why such a prayer was inappropriate and excluded from the ceremony.
Although I have never had the occasion to pen a prayer for an imaginary creature, I decided to give it my best shot. What follows is an ecumenical prayer written for children of all ages and all faiths. It is a request of our Creator who endowed every human being with a divine spark and the passion to create.
Almighty God, within this park your fiery breath has left its mark.
It is the spark of creativity expressed by Kenton Pies.
Reflecting your life-giving role, this artist found within his soul, the means to make from nothingness a wonder to behold.
Much more than stylized concrete, this behemoth (where children meet) points to a prehistoric time when dinosaurs prevailed.
It magnetically draws little ones who long to climb on something bigger than they.
It celebrates the mystery of beings both seen and unseen.
Thank you, Awesome Creator, for images that point beyond ourselves.
Forgive us for measuring what is real by our own experiences alone.
Please guard this beast from vandal’s scars and pranks that mutilate and mar even as You give the artist inner joy aware of what he’s done.
Allow this beast to be the means by which new friendships are formed.
Grant safety to the kids who’ll converge here.
Keep them free from injury and harm. Shield them from germs and fear.
Protect them from temptation to shun imaginative play.
To that end I pray that You would bless this friendly beast with countless years to come.