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Posted by on May 10, 2022 | 0 comments

On Our Knees

The prayer-poem below was written in the same week that a leaked opinion draft authored by Supreme Court Justice Alito revealed that Roe v. Wade was likely to be overturned in June 2022.  It was delivered at Charlotte Congregational Church, United Church of Christ on Mother’s Day, 5/8/22.

Dear God,


One needn’t be a mother

just a woman or a girl

to feel the slap, the lash

across the back

that drives us to our knees.

“Down,” it demands,

“fool that you are,

weak, stupid

untrustworthy and lustful.”


The secret is

that down here

we do our best work.

It’s been so through the ages

cleaning up the messes,

planting seeds,

searching for lost coins,

we are powerful on our knees.

Today we come praying,

lamenting, protesting,

pleading, hearts wrung

in desperation and anger.


Holy Mother, source of all

giver of life, sustainer of souls,

help us to face the fear that fuels

the fury

so that consoled by your love

we may rise from our subjugated


not with a jerk but with

slow, strong, grounded intention

lifting with us our daughters

granddaughters, nieces, sisters,

aunts, mothers, grandmothers

taking them by the hand,

cradling them in our arms,

promising to stand by them,

work for them,

love them

proclaim their brilliance

as you have done for us.


May your love illumine

a way forward,

for those who would

be mothers and those

who would not,

for all who

are honored to walk

this path in faith and determination.


You have raised us well.

Featured image has no known copyright restrictions and is in public domain: James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Lost Drachma (La drachme perdue), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 5 x 6 5/8 in. (12.7 x 16.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.93 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.93_PS2.jpg)

© Rev. Susan Cooke Kittredge, 2022

Susan Cooke Kittredge is the Associate Pastor of Charlotte Congregational Church.  She graduated from Andover Newton Theological Seminary and served for many years as Senior Minister of the Old Meeting House in East Montpelier, Vermont.

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