A Prayer

A prayer from Rev. Victoria Safford

Spirit of life, holy one,
known to us most intimately as breath, the very breath of life,
Spirit, moving on the wind, filling every thirsty lung with sweet spring air-

-except the lungs of George Floyd,
may he rest in power, rest in peace -

for us, the time for resting is not now,
not for us who still draw breath.

We are living in pandemic time.
We have lived all our lives in pandemic time,
no matter our age, if we’re white.
Our parents, our grandparents, ancestors all the way back,
have lived and breathed this viral, lethal white supremacy,
each one of us a vector, super-spreader,
a walking epicenter of contagion.
It is passed to us in utero,
in stories,
in practices of privilege
which look to us like  ”just the way things are,”
if we are white.
We’re asymptomatic, to ourselves.
Not wanting to know, we don’t know that we’re sick,
and mostly we just don’t believe, or won’t,
that our own negligence or ignorance
could do any harm at all.
Our own distance from the dying protects us every day,
or so we would believe.

Spirit, abolish bad belief.
Cast out faulty doctrine,
which is deadly, as again
and yet again
we’ve seen.
Call us back to what we know:
either we say black lives matter
or we don’t. This one is either/or.

Call us back to what we know:
till justice comes shouting and singing into the streets,
comes raging and reckoning into the courts
and into the bones of the broken republic,
till justice comes there can no peace.

Holy Breath and Holy Name,
hold us now in the crucible of our moment.
May we who are still breathing
be worthy of our breath.