For months now, I’ve felt ill at ease reading the morning office. I had a sense of why—mainly the overtly male language for God—but not clarity. So I continued, as I have for years, all the while noticing and honoring the discomfort. This week, clarity came in the form of questions: “Is there space for me here? Is there room for my becoming, when everything is father and he and him and lord?”
Meanwhile, I’d taken on the practice of praying hand-over-sternum, to remind me that the Divine is within, part of me.
This morning, while silently praying the confession and also practicing my reminder of the Divine within, the word “we” became “I” and “you” became “us” and suddenly I sense there may be space for me after all.
This is what I love about liturgy. It gives us a reservoir within which we can wrestle and flounder and question, all while being held and buoyed and never alone.
Here is how it sounded this morning:
Most merciful God,
I confess that I have sinned against us
in thought, word, and deed,
by what I have done,
and by what I have left undone.
I have not loved us with my whole heart;
I have not loved my neighbors as myself.
I am truly sorry and I humbly repent.
For the sake of our Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on me and forgive me;
that I may delight in our will,
and walk in our ways,
to the glory of your Name.