God. She’s Black. I Have Receipts.

I assert that God, in the image of an African Woman, is the pillow upon which I kneel to offer my daily prayers. I affirm Imago Dei, at a time when I need, desperately, to see myself.

According to one definition,

“…imago Dei refers most fundamentally to two things: first, God’s own self-actualization through humankind; and second, God’s care for humankind.

https://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/theogloss/imago-body.html

So, when the Bishop of the Diocese opens her greeting to our congregation by declaring that “She, the Holy Spirit, came for us,” Dear God, I nearly fainted in a shout of praise.

For those who know me well, yes. I almost threw my shoe.

It was confirmation of my fervent prayers, Lord, let me see myself in You.

I have desired for so long, to see not only God in me but me in God. I have come to a new understanding of my gifts, and how they might be used to glorify the Kingdom. This morning, I received confirmation.

And then this appeared at my feet…

key found during my morning walk with Sando

I was walking my beloved boxer, Sando. Part secret keeper, part spiritual teacher, his lessons in faith sustain me. As I uncovered the key, knocking off the dirt, I offered a prayer. Lord, reveal in me that which is being unleashed? What door, hidden in the grass like this key waiting to be found, are You calling me to walk through?

So, I was right: I met God. She’s Black.

I needed confirmation and a key. The Bishop said so. Receipts. From this morning’s lectionary,

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” 

Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)

and this,

Psalm 138
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing your praise.
I will bow down toward your holy temple and praise your Name, because of your love and faithfulness;
For you have glorified your Name and your word above all things.
When I called, you answered me; you increased my strength within me.
All the kings of the earth will praise you, O Lord,
when they have heard the words of your mouth.
They will sing of the ways of the Lord, that great is the glory of the Lord.
Though the Lord be high, he cares for the lowly;
he perceives the haughty from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you keep me safe; you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies; your right hand shall save me.
The Lord will make good his purpose for me;
O Lord, your love endures for ever; do not abandon the works of your hands.

Father/Mother/God, make good Your Purpose for me. I will serve, honor, and praise you, flawed, foolish and frail though I am, now and forever more, because You have seen me. Because I see myself in You.

I am sanctified, set apart for use as Divinely intended. I’ve received holy confirmation, in word and in the form of a key to hold.

It’s time to do a new thing. Get ready.

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