A Toilet Prayer

Background for those who reading who do not live in the United States… There has been a bill passed in North Carolina and in seven other states bills are pending which will restrict public restroom usage. These bills are aimed against transgender people. “Fourth grade” in the poem below is approximately 10 years old. Laughing at “bathroom” jokes usually happens from ages six to twelve, but at around ten it can change from giggling to mean.

On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect.
1 Corinthians 12:22-26

God, using a toilet
is considered less honorable
than eating in a restaurant,
going to a movie,
playing in a park,
sitting in a pew,

but it is a need so basic
that, if any member
of the body of Christ
suffers the embarrassment
and the pain
of being forbidden
the use of a public toilet,

then we are all ashamed,
and the identity that we claim
as church
em-bodied in the world –
mission hand, theological head,
tongue of evangelism,
folded hands of prayer —

is reduced to a
fourth-grade potty joke.

And, if the gender identity
of all God’s beautiful children
is honored
by public accommodation,
we rejoice together.

God, keep us from
our willful incontinence in faith,
from love’s constipation.
Amen.

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