Thank you to Minister Thomas Bowen who afforded me the opportunity to put my race-less faith to work this morning as Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Dr. Wallace Charles Smith led a service of remembrance and healing for four little girls, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair, who died almost fifty years ago in Birmingham, Alabama. I shared this prayer of healing with those who gathered:
Great Physician of our soul and the Mender of all broken people, we come to You with historic hurts for which there seems to be no consolation, with the gaping wounds of our identity for which there seems to be no closure, with anger that does not fulfill our vengeance, with hatred that does not satisfy our cry for justice, with overwhelming sadness for a social death that does not ever seem to end, with tired tears and weary fears that have been responding for so long that they no longer know when or why they began.
We come to You, great Healer who is supra- racial, whose body is not socially colored black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige, who is not a man that His actions can be stereotyped or His love defined by prejudice, who is in all places– never segregated, and with all people, redeeming the time of our ignorance.
You can and You are settling the disputes of the self- created superior and inferior, minor and major, marginalized and centered people because You are superior, the majority all by Yourself and the center of our joy, because Your faith in us in not inferior, Your hope in the power of righteousness is never minor and Your will can never be marginalized.
You will make us known not by what divides us but what unites us.
You will make us known not by the differences in our bodies but our sameness in Yours.
You will make us known not by social and hierarchical categories but by our great Christ, who humbled himself to the point of death in service to humanity.
No longer a racial people or a numbered people but a loving people, a peace- making and peace- keeping people. Reunite us with Your unconditional love. Reconcile us to our true selves in You so that we might be able to see the true selves of others who are also in great need of Your mending … because we are all broken people. Amen.