Tomorrow morning our kids start another week at school. And even as we tuck them into bed tonight, we hear a report on the news of yet another thwarted school shooting. Last week’s shooting is still fresh to me, but already it has cycled out of our news and the world seems to be ready for the latest scandal as political interest groups continue to fight about underlying causes and the best way to handle it. Meanwhile, I rub my daughter’s back looking at her hair shine gold in the glow of her nightlight and I pray.
Tonight I pray for my children and for yours. I pray for the ones for whom each lockdown drill is an act of bravery. I pray for the ones who worry and are anxious; the ones who are constantly thinking about the worst case scenarios. I pray their hearts while be guarded. I pray they will feel a peace to fill them from the tops of their heads to the tips of their toes. I pray they will remember that God is with them and that they have no reason to fear. I pray the moment they walk into their school Monday morning any worries will be washed away and they will be filled with joy, ready to learn.
Tonight I pray for the lonely, the bullied, the left out and forgotten. I pray for the angry the frustrated and the hurt. I pray for the ignored, the needy, and the ones whose minds and hearts have veered off course. Because at some point, before the killers whose names go in and out of the news stockpiled ammunition, wrote manifestos, and walked into schools with hardened heart and mind set on death, they were children. They were the ones walking into school each day as students. They played ball, ate lunch, and practiced their times tables. So tonight I pray. I pray that hearts stay soft. I pray teachers and students and families and friends truly see them. I pray for early intervention. I pray for mercy.
Tonight I pray for all the moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, the aunties and the uncles, and anyone else who is tucking in children. I pray for our own hearts. I pray we will remember why we send our kids out to school when fear makes us want to keep them at home. I pray that when I drop them off at school in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon I will see, really see, each and every student. I pray that even in my most hurried and frantic moments I will pause long enough to smile, to say hello, and to ask how school is going so far. I pray I will never be so busy that they become just faces. Help me to see who they are and who they are made to be.
So sleep well sweet girls, sleep well.