Everlasting, ever-loving God, today, millions of your children wait in the paradox of anxiousness and earnestness for nine human beings to make a decision about the legality of same-gender marriage. But in our fervent prayers, O God, we know that decision is really about equality and about the preciousness of all of Your children in the sight of their neighbors, one and all.
This truth clutches our hearts today like twine tightening around a wrist.
On a day like this, when the Supreme Court appears to control our fate, we turn to the timeless words of the psalmist and take assurance in the nature of Your supremacy. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne” (Psalm 89: 14a). Whether in spite of or in celebration of today’s decisions, whatever their outcome, we will continue to seek righteousness and justice, then; for these are true to how you would have us live together and what you would have us do for the sake of one another, all of Your children, equally precious in Your sight.
But wait! Moments ago, O God, news burst through the solemnity of this prayer: “DOMA has been struck down! Prop 8 has been struck down!” say the blogs and tweets and posts of all kinds. So, we pause to celebrate—to cheer, to embrace, to laugh out of delirium, and to cry; for our celebration is incomplete without tears.
SCOTUS decided that DOMA's Section 3 was unconstitutional, yes, but we still weep for the expense at which that decision was made.
We weep for the teenager, ostracized and bullied by his peers because his parents are two women whose love for one another is deemed less than, consequently branding their son an outsider. We weep for the young lesbian whose partner of five years suddenly died in a car accident, but the deceased’s parents will not allow for their daughter’s partner to attend the funeral out of a stubborn refusal to ever accept their relationship as valid, as real.
We weep for the gay military servicemen and women who, because their marriage was never legally recognized by the country for which they fought, were not given the right to have their spouse buried alongside them in an official military gravesite. We weep for the couple where a man is forced to choose between caring for his bedridden spouse or keeping his job as a result of their state not recognizing their marriage, and thereby not granting them the legal sick leave afforded to hetero couples when their spouses fall ill.
We weep and weep and weep, for we know an additional truth: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
Short-term comfort comes to us today at the news of injustice being struck down, but long-term comfort will not find us until our mourning gives way to righteous words and just actions that do not rest until everyone everywhere is seen by their neighbor as equal—equally loving and loved, equally deserving of dignity and human rights, equally precious in the sight of God.
Today, O God of righteousness and justice, the psalmist’s words resonate across the ages: “He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday” (Psalm 37:6).
The twine loosens from our wrist. Our hands are a bit freer today to continue this work that you have equipped us to carry out with anxiousness and earnestness. The Supreme Court stated that it is unconstitutional to dismiss the covenantal commitment shared between our gay and lesbian siblings, yes; but our ultimate goal is God’s ultimate vision: a world redeemed by reconciliation unto itself through the embrace of equality.
So we will continue this ceaseless prayer that has utmost faith in a world where all are received with equality:
"For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his faithful ones.” (Psalm 37: 28a).
Photo via flickr Christopher Schoenbohm