PRAYING WITH THIS HERE FLESH
(NOTE: My women’s bible study just finished the book This Here Flesh by Cole Arthur Riley. At the end of the final session, I asked all the participants to reflect on this important book. This prayer is a collection of the thoughts that they had gathered as to their “learning” strung together into one body of prose directed towards God. ALSO: Please read this book. It’s amazing.)
Who we know not as One, or even Triune, but as the collective of all humanity,
Help us to see the things we take for granted,
To understand the challenges that others face that we do not,
and remind us that we have no place to judge another’s story.
Bend us toward our rootedness, our connectedness, and our need for belonging.
And let that belonging begin and end with our own truth-telling,
and our ability to be present in the listening of the truth-telling of others.
Remind us that true acceptance includes the stories of one another,
as well as our own truths.
Lead us to experiences of the divine collective
that deepen our understanding and relationship,
For in finding connection, we can share in the suffering,
As well as in the healing, the peace, and the joy.
Help us to understand that our calling is rooted in the image of God
You have made us to be, and in doing so, we become responsible for
Calling forth the beautiful in this world.
In our responsibility, may we work for salvation and liberation,
Understanding salvation as true, deep rest from struggle
(not in some future time, but in our current circumstance)
And liberation as whatever we decide will help us to be free
(knowing when we liberate, we give power back to the wounded).
And in our rest and in our freedom, bind us once again to one another
For it is there that we find the Divine in the world, now and forever.
Rev. Cathy M. Kolwey is an artist, writer, pastor, and chaplain who works at the intersection of Spirituality and the Arts. She lives and works in Minnesota. You can find more of her writing at http://www.cmkolwey.com
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