Each week I try to highlight the words of a progressive voice here in the south-land. I think, appropriately, the voice I highlight is not a sermon crying out words from on high for us, but rather the words of prayer. For, this is a time in which we all need to be grounded by whatever spiritual practices keep us whole — prayer, meditation, working in nature, or any life-giving practice. Without such deep roots we will not be able to stand through life’s deep storms let alone the tidal waves of change and resistance to social justice, equity for all, and care for God’s earth which are assaulting our communities.
This prayer is by Rev. Laurie Hays Coffman, a longtime Methodist pastor in Durham, NC, who has long been a voice for justice for all people. She helped lead Calvary United Methodist in Durham, NC, toward becoming one of the first “Reconciling” congregations in NC, a term used in Methodism for churches that fully embrace people of sexualities, gender identities, races, and ethnicities as equal before God, and equally welcome in the life of the church. Now she serves as a chaplain in Durham.
I feel the words of her prayer are so appropriate to our times. May her words call you to connect with your source of life and strength today.
Your progressive redneck preacher,
El Shaddai, our Nurturing One, the all-sufficient provider, God of the Breasts: I surrender all tomorrow. For what would it profit me to preserve my whole body and lose my life?
You set before me blessings or curses, cancer or long life. I choose life!
Be the guiding wisdom my surgeon employs. Keep me safe from all hurt, harm, and danger while I sleep and while I heal. Please knit me back together as wondrously as you did first in my mama’s womb.
Hear my prayers, O God. Hold me close. I love you.