Gather me in, Spirit. Gather me in from everywhere else that I am.

I know that’s a big ask. Right at the start of a prayer. But the slow steady shock of a constant injustice and need and inhumanity revealed is immobilizing me. I am not still, Spirit. I am immobilizing. Grinding to a halt. Brakes seizing. Stopping dead in my tracks. Every hidden grave found and counted is like finding the “You are here” marker on the map. It’s where You’ve been too. All this time. But where was I? I cannot look back at my leisure to ponder where the wheels fell off the bus that carried us all but disappeared some. I’ve been unconscious. And the best I have is to stand stunned that racism, genocide, misogyny, colonization, patriarchy enrolled me too with the simple tactic of inviting me to look over here, not over there. I have numbed myself in order to keep going and achieve other things with my life that didn’t feel so bad. I have not wanted to be spent this other way. I am sorry, Spirit. I am sorry. Transform my immobilizing response to humble stillness—to feel Your grief, their grief, hoping it is not too late for me to feel it also as mine. Gather me in, Spirit.


Diane Strickland is in her 33rd year as an ordained minister now serving in The United Church of Canada as retired clergy. She is a Certified Community and Workplace Traumatologist, Compassion Fatigue Specialist-Therapist, Critical Incident Responder, author and creator of Trauma Informed Resources.

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