God who does not want us to be alone,
my spouse and I celebrate seventeen years of marriage this week.
It isn’t always easy, but I’m grateful to have a true partner for the journey.
It is in this spirit that I thank you for all people who are good companions:
relatives by blood or choice,
mentors and coaches and spiritual guides,
beloved fur babies.
Relationships are good, God, but that doesn’t mean they’re not complicated.
Help us to treat gently those who shelter at home with us – and help them return the favor.
Help us be creative about staying connected to those we cannot share a physical space with.
Help us grieve and give thanks for those who have joined the cloud of witnesses.
Not everyone has the relational support they yearn for, God.
So to those who are lonely or isolated,
To those whose companions are emotionally or physically abusive,
To those whose relationships have rifts instigated or deepened by the pandemic,
give your peace.
God, even you are never alone,
and it is to you, the Three-in-One,
that we pray by the power of your Spirit and in the name of your Son.
Laura Stephens-Reed is a clergy and congregational coach working with ministers and churches across the ecumenical spectrum. Having served in a variety of pastoral roles and denominations, she is primarily affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and has ministerial standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Based in northwest Alabama (United States), Laura is married to a United Methodist pastor, and they have a seven-year-old son. She blogs weekly at laurastephensreed.com.
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