God by whom we are renamed and repurposed,
you kick us off of our couches,
grooved and worn around the shapes of our bodies,
and summon us to as-yet unknown destinations.
Along the way we’ll fudge and manipulate to get out of scrapes,
start to make a home anywhere that looks semi-hospitable,
and try to force your hand.
Thank – well, you – for your patience with our lack of such.
Thanks for throwing an arm around our shoulders when the going gets tough,
reassuring us that you haven’t abandoned us to our dim vision or worst impulses.
Thanks for wanting good things for us,
even when we’re too ready to settle for what we can manage ourselves
or scoff at the thought of an outrageous dream fulfilled.
You promise, you bless.
We don’t just want to be blessed, though, as comforting as that sounds.
Help us be a blessing, too.
To the friendless.
To the hopeless.
To the directionless.
To the homeless.
That means setting out again and again from all that is easy and familiar,
hopefully more discerning than before,
to go to new places
and meet new people
who turn out to be you in disguise.
This being blessed and being a blessing business is a sacred adventure.
May we journey along it by stages, guided by your stars as numerous as your gifts to us.
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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