The season of my coming out was fraught with tumultuous storms and beautiful sunrises.
It was nearly 20 years ago when I answered both a call to seminary and God’s invitation to step fully into the life I was created to live and love. At the time I was attending St. Paul United Methodist Church in the historic Grant Park neighborhood within whose walls I uttered many a prayer, not unlike the prayers Anne Lamott suggests are the most important words we can utter – “help me, help me, help me…” and “thank you, thank you, thank you.”
There were many other prayers lifted up in those nascent days of my becoming and one that has stuck with me all these years is a prayer painted in shining text high on the sanctuary walls of St. Paul.
God be in my head
and in my understanding
God be in my eyes
and in my looking
God be in my mouth
and in my speaking
God be in my heart
and in my thinking
God be at my end
and at my departing
For some reason, this prayer has come back to me in recent weeks with other words wiggling into the cadence, so I thought I’d share one such version here with an invitation for you to craft your own version of this timeless prayer.
God be in my pandemic-weary head
and in the cloudy kaleidoscope of my understanding
God be in my jaded yet hopeful eyes
and in my looking so that I may see the imprint of
your image in every person I encounter
God be in my sharp-tongued mouth
and in my speaking truth to power
and love to the lonely
God be in my bleeding heart
and in my constant overthinking
God be at my free-from-regret end
and my reluctant departing
from your broken and beautiful world.