In as post a few days back I responded to an article published by the Baptist Witness. Written by a ‘bishop’ of the church, it was an article I felt to be grossly unfair and hurtful to members of LGBTI community. Intentional or not, the damage done by words like these is the damage I see played out every day in my own faith community and many others like it.
The responses to my own post have been many, and most have shared a similar sense of disappointment, but often in words much more poignant than my own. One response came from a friend and fellow Baptist Bronwen. As with so many others like her, Bron’s hold on the church is tenuous but persistent. That she is still able to offer a prayer like this one is a gift to us all.
Blessings on us, on all of us
who search for
our callings, our giftedness, our place to be.
Blessings on all of us
who must stop, and wonder, and ask
whether we are welcome
before we offer our talents, our time, our selves.
Affirm in us, God, the welcome born in us
when we first heard you call our names.
Affirm in us the rightness of our being
formed this way as we were knitted together
in our mother’s bellies.
Affirm in us the knowledge
that we have much to offer, and that the church
needs us, far more than we need it.
Grant us courage and strength
to walk paths that will lead us into light and truth.
Grant us hope and compassion
that we may walk with eyes for the outcast and lost,
creating welcoming banquets
out of the crumbs we scavenge along the way.
Grant us pride and tenacity
so that we may walk with heads held high
refusing to be bowed by ignorance,
by intolerance, by injustice.
Grant us laughter and celebrations
alongside the bitterness of tears.
Grant us warmth and humanity
when faced with the deserts of rejection,
hate and fear.
Grant us love,
above all, grant us love.
So that we can continue to grow,
and become, and discover,
and be wholly
who we are.