***Alternate*** Second Reading: Dr. Diana Hayes – Excerpt from No Crystal Stair: Womanist Spirituality

A reading from Dr. Diana Hayes’ book, No Crystal Stair: Womanist Spirituality

We are not alone in this world, nor have we ever been, no matter how much we may feel otherwise. Many have come before us and will come after us feeling the same way, seeking as we are, searching for the “light.” And it is in coming together—one by one, two by two, and on and on—that we form the converging tributaries that make up the mighty stream of just and righteous people flowing home to God. We are and can be that justice that “rolls down like water,” and that righteousness that “flows like a mighty stream.”

This is our calling as Christian faithful: to recognize the Christ in everyone. And to reach out a hand of hope, to speak a word of love, to sing a song of happiness, to share a tear of joy or pain, to speak a word of praise, to murmur a prayer, to stand together against those forces that would divide us, isolate us, and block our flow toward home.

We must seek to become the righteous of God, recognizing that the path is neither short nor easy, but rock-strewn, obstacle-laden, sometimes even seeming to flow backwards and uphill!

…The river is still flowing. We can accept the grace to be part of that flow . . . if we truly are to be followers of Christ, imitators of him, then we must leap with faith into that torrent knowing that we are . . . in the bosom of God, our Creator, our Sustainer, our Liberator, our Mother and Father.

The words of Diana Hayes.