I Am Running with You, Malcolm

From The Eternal Bookshelf…

Are You Running With Me, Jesus? Prayers by Malcolm Boyd. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1965. (Reissued in 2006 b

y Cowley.)

Now this is my kind of priest: Smoking a cig, looking dapper, riding freedom buses and hanging out at coffeehouses. Malcolm Boyd, seminal gay Episcopal priest, celebrity and civil rights advocate. Sigh. If I keep looking at this picture long enough I might be tempted to cross over to the Communion. Custody of the eyes! Custody of the eyes, Mary! OK. I’m fine. But seriously: has the dog collar ever looked so good?

Onto the prayers. Boyd, who was called “Chaplain-at-large to U.S. university students” by the New York Times, offers a selection of prayers on immediate concerns as well as traditional meditations on the cross and the sacraments. Granted, some of the language is a bit out of date but there are some gems. I appreciate “The drinks are tranquilizing me, Lord, relaxing me and helping me to take it,” “I want to be alone and not to be alone, both at the same time,” and the poignant “This is a homosexual bar, Jesus.” Boyd’s frustration with modern living, loneliness and yearning for equality are still relevant and frankly, I just like the cut of his jib. I am running with you, Malcolm.

Mary Valle lives in Baltimore and is the author of Cancer Doesn't Give a Shit About Your Stupid Attitude: Reflections on Cancer and Catholicism. She blogs on KtB as The Communicant. For more Mary, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.