A Litany for Re-Humanizing
Our church’s pastor will be speaking on John 9 this week while also making space/giving an invitation for people (if they wish and can) to respond to abuse, assault, harassment, neglect, and pain. Each person present will have a slip of paper on their seat on which they can write “him,” “her,” or “me” if they so choose, acknowledging those they know who have experienced abuse or assault (even and especially in association with the church). Those slips will be made into an art piece the following week. I was asked to write a litany to accompany the morning. This is it:
When a child of yours–and that is, everyone–has had their wounds overlooked and under0cared for, give us the yes of Jesus to notice all that we have ignored and bypassed.
And when a child of yours–and that is, everyone–has had their hurt recognized in our presence, let us do no further damage by trying to assign them blame. Help us hold the pain of the distressed and the victim.
And when a child of yours–and that is, everyone–is restored parts of their sight or their soul, let us not be counted among those who would criticize you for how you choose to heal your people. Make us merciful.
And when a child of yours–and that is, everyone–is returned their eyes to see, their legs to walk, their bravery to be in public, their trust in humanity again, let us celebrate them. Truly celebrate them.
And when a child of yours–and that is, everyone–has been made whole after struggle or rejection, abuse or dehumanization, give us hearts to honor the image of God that was inside of them, their abusers, and us all along.
May we not be the arguers, “deeply divided in opinion,’ who spend their hours defining who gets healed and how it should be carried out.
Instead, may we be the space-makers, the victim-trusters, the story-listeners, the re-humanizers.
May we be the safe places, the pain-holders, the ones who are drenched in mercy.
May we be like Jesus who notices, who does the unconventional, and who offers holistic healing to his people and through his people–and that is, everyone.