Sitting on Good Friday

I wasn’t there Good Friday

But I’ve planted a garden almost every year
despite the fact, my thumb is black, and nothing will ever grow

I have sat alone in middle school, at the lunch table, at the classroom
Being told to shut up every time I’ve spoken, isolated and alone

I have left a room
only to realize later that I participated in White Supremacy–
Leaving a Person of Color to fend for themselves

And I have participated in politics that have lead to people having to leave
or find solace, because they were so hurt by what happened

I have cried Hosanna! after Massive Gun Violence And Gender Violence
So many times–with phone calls, votes and letters

Again, and again, and again

I wasn’t there on Good Friday
But I have been abandoned or done the Abandoning

Jesus, I picture you
starting your descent into hell
with the words “My God, My God, Why have you abandoned me”

I wasn’t there that Good Friday–
Almost no one was–
Yet that was the point

Patriarchy, All the bad things…seemed to be winning

I wasn’t there Good Friday,
But I have felt those pieces of Hell, the utter loneliness
the failure
I have heard the devil whispering to me

that I’m too different
that my voice doesn’t matter
that peace won’t win

that my betrayals are bigger than my good works

that THAT scene, the one on replay in my head? Everyone remembers that one about me

I don’t know how Jesus utterly cut off from Love
in Hell

But I know all humans feel that at some point;
so I know you did it Jesus

You walked into Hell…
so we wouldn’t be alone there anymore

To remind us that Nothing
no height, no death,
nor hell
can cut us off from the love of Jesus Christ

I wasn’t there Good Friday..But you were,
Un-abandoning us
Sitting with us
We can’t see you or hear you in the dark

But thanks for being there
with me when the seeds won’t grow,
at the lonesome lunch table
Or in the Aftermath

And it’s ok to sit in the dark for awhile

Feel free to adapt/share/use with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Senator Jones in the foreground Rep Pearson in the background in a black suit—both with their fists raised after the two young, black men were expelled from Tennessee House for partying peaceful anti-gun demonstrations, the white woman senator was allowed to remain

Advent Prayer for Families that don’t Talk

TW: This is not meant to excuse Toxic/Abusive Behavior (more at the end)

God this is a prayer

for all the family members

who aren’t talking to one another

because I have that right now…

on both sides…and I get that

and honestly, all the sides have some kinds of points

Some bigger, and some smaller…

but it’s really not my job to sort

And the reality is, because it’s a family thing

everyone is involved

(parents, adult children, the adult sibs of course and the niflings* tangentially)

And everyone is just so sad

and angry…that we all know the truth

that no one is going to win

because it’s not really a fight right now

Just a sea of disappointment, and tears

and it hurts to talk about it

and it hurts more not to…

So this is a prayer for the holidays,

for all those family members who have lost touch

or haven’t talked

or can’t talk this year

Because, you know God,

(and maybe only you know God)

what is really going on there.

And it’s times like these, I think that this is why

we don’t read the prodigal son, coin, sheep parables at Christmas–

because even though that are exactly what Christmas is all about

they hurt too much–

they, Holy Spirit here it comes,

hit too close to home.

So sit with us God, the broken families,

wishing our families were whole again,

and help us as the time of advent


becomes all too real,


we pray.


Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

*Gender Neutral term for nieces and nephews, Nibling is much more common but I like the sound of nifling

Additional Note: Please Note this is not meant to be an excuse or apology for toxic or abusive family members. Also sometimes the only protection some people have is to walk away from family, even if some people miss them. If you need to do that I encourage you to do so! In family systems the only person you can work on is yourself and so a safe action to do is break away from your family system to do the work. Holy Spirit help you if that is the hard work you need to get done. I’m praying this prayer for me and the work I need to do–and not for pity.

Invisible People

April 3
Katy Stenta
Luke 18:35-43


“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” Shush, says the crowd, big quiet, do not talk. This blind man, who couldn’t see Jesus, yet knew he was there. Jesus is on his way to certain death, making the final journey to Jerusalem. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on ME!” Louder, this time, and Jesus hears it. (Part of me thinks of course Jesus hears him, Jesus always hears him). The ignored one, the incomplete, imperfect one, the no-doubt-annoying-one. The fussy child who can’t sit still, the family that can never get to church on time, the elder who has a lot of trouble hearing, the one in pain, the one alone, the one who for whatever reason cannot see Jesus today. The one who can’t see Jesus, because of their perspective, the one who has to climb a tree just to see Jesus.

In a time where still people are ignored, erased or shunted to the side, in an age of constant chatter, still so many need to try out to be heard.

And then, Jesus stops. He stands still, and says not only “receive sight” but also “your faith has saved you.” We are given not only the vision, but also the salvation we need. What has been granted is so much more than “Be Thou my Vision.” We are given the time and notice and love we need—those things we need to have faith and be saved. Praise God.

Pastor Katy Stenta is the Solo at a Bigger-on-the-inside & Revitalized New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Albany, NY