Tuesday’s child is full of grace.” For the next five months I will share sections from the new book — A Child Laughs — Prayers of Justice and Hope (edited by Maria Mankin and Maren C. Tirabassi) Pilgrim Press, May 1, 2017.
In honor of Halloween when most children will be rather full of sugar and have heightened activity I am going to share a litany from Mary James wonderful chapter “On Being Outside the Norms: Accepting a Spectrum of Behaviors on the Journey and as a Journey” Mary says this of herself:
Mary A. James is the mom of three adult children of various delightful temperaments, ranging from that of kinetic dreamer to effervescent calm. She is also a pastor, currently serving at First Congregational Church of Wakefield, New Hampshire, a loving open and affirming congregation.
A Responsive Prayer for Adults Seeking to Build Intergenerational Community
(this prayer is written for the church setting, but can be adapted for other settings, such as schools, family gatherings, etc.)
There is Tim again, sliding on his belly under the pews, from the front of the church to the back.
Help us, O God, to guide Tim with care rather than to criticize his parents.
There is Libby again, running by the lit candles, nearly toppling one over.
Help us, O God, to be part of the village that raises Libby, rather than rolling our eyes from a distance.
There is Thomas again, talking out loud through all the opening prayers.
Help us, O God, to find a way to include in our prayers those words that come out of the mouths of babes.
There is Sherrie again, throwing a tantrum on the floor.
Help us, O God, to offer Sherrie’s Mom a helping hand.
There is Luke again, running through the crowd, nearly knocking over some of the elders.
Help us, O God, to show Luke why it’s important to walk sometimes rather than to run, and to give him a job that he can be proud to do at such times.
There is Ella again, drawing on the pews.
Help us, O God, to give Ella a place to make her art.
Gracious God, build among us a community that makes, holds, and maintains functional, purposeful, and carefully thought-out space and spaces for our children. Give us the joy of living with loving intention as an intergenerational community. Amen.