By Kathy Galloway, in Maker's Blessing (Wild Goose Publications/The Iona Community, 2000), www.ionabooks.com.
The spirit of this poem speaks to the spirit of this workshop, albeit in theist language. Use of this poem may spark dialogue, which in turn may surface interesting conversation about issues of racial/ethnic identity and theological journeys.
God beyond borders
we bless you for strange places
and different dreams
for the demands and diversity
of a wider world
for the distance
that lets us look back and re-evaluate
for new ground
where the broken stems can take root,
grow and blossom.
We bless you
for the friendship of strangers
the richness of other cultures
and the painful gift of freedom
Blessed are you,
God beyond borders.
But if we have overlooked
the exiles in our midst
heightened their exclusion
by our indifference
given our permission
for a climate of fear
and tolerated a culture of violence
Have mercy on us,
God who takes side with justice,
confront our prejudice
stretch our narrowness
sift out our laws and our lives
with the penetrating insight
of your spirit
until generosity is our only measure.