A Prayer for Welcoming Families of All Kinds

We are a gentle, angry people. Angry that still so many are left out, left behind, shoved aside, ignored, isolated, alienated, made invisible, exploited, oppressed, incarcerated, forgotten.\u00a0\n

And we are gentle, loving people too. Yes, in our best vision of ourselves, we are learning always how to counter all those forces that divide and isolate, learning always how to love better, how to be present, accepting, supportive, how to listen, how to apologize, how to forgive.\u00a0\n

Learning always how to love and welcome the alien, the immigrant, the stranger. Learning always how to love and welcome the addicted one, the sober one, the one in recovery, the one living with illness, the dying one, the young person, the child, the baby, the elder.\u00a0\n

Learning always how to love and welcome the widow and the widower, the one who never married, the divorcee, and the one who\u2019s been married four times. Learning always how to love and welcome families\u2014families with two parents, with one parent, with surrogate parents, with aunts and uncles, with grandparents, with same-gender loving parents, opposite gender loving parents, transgender loving parents, family with no children, with one child, with many children.\u00a0\n

Learning always how to love and welcome those who\u2019ve had children and those who haven\u2019t, those who\u2019ve given birth and those who\u2019ve lost children to miscarriage, those who\u2019ve continued with their pregnancies and those who\u2019ve ended them, those who\u2019ve given up children to adoption, those who\u2019ve adopted, those who were not able to care for their children and those who\u2019ve been foster parents.\u00a0\n

Learning always how to love and welcome all those who come, regardless of the choices they\u2019ve made, the grief they feel, the secrets they long to make known, the burdens they carry and long to lay down.\u00a0\n

May we continue learning, always, how to love and welcome. May we continue being gentle, angry people. May we continue being gentle, loving people.\u00a0\n

Amen and blessed be.\u00a0\n