I parked strategically, near enough to see the small group of teens huddled around the flag pole in the rain, but far enough away that I couldn’t see my son roll his eyes if he spotted me in what was clearly his “space.”
There amid the hustle and bustle of cars, buses, horns, and umbrellas, I prayed. Grateful to be living in a time when public prayer is still allowed, grateful that my youngest is unapologetic about bowing his head to the Lord in front of his friends and peers, and grateful to know that this scene is being repeated at schools across the country today. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll lament that such a sight may one day disappear in this nation’s race to proclaim tolerance for everything BUT the Living God, but today I feel only peace.
It’s fitting, I think, that they’re gathered around another symbol being bashed in the latest cause du jour, and I pray that each continues to hold the other up through the battles we all know are coming.
I’m so proud of these young people. These are the ones who will carry our nation forward, who will be asked to do and accept things we never imagined could be forced upon us. They’re told today that it’s perfectly acceptable for a healthy child who lived and grew in its mother’s womb for nine months to be killed on its way into the world because mom doesn’t want “it.” And they’re told that this beautiful child, whose clear blue eyes would have been able to move and blink and see and process light using ten interconnected components has a lineage that traces back to an amoeba, and that those eyes somehow evolved out of nothing. They’re going to need thick skin and strong foundations to stand firm as people they consider friends today spit on them tomorrow, hurling vile threats and claiming their Jesus is a harbinger of hate.
Which is why I pray today, not for the schools, because I know that’s what they’re doing now. They are praying their school remain a safe and healthy place to learn, that truth be taught without bias in their classrooms, that healthy and solid friendships form, and that everyone in the school feel accepted and free to pursue those unique interests that give each of them joy and purpose. They’re praying for believers and non-believers alike, for their families, their friends, and for the future of their nation.
But in my car on the side lines, I pray for each child in the group, for moral and spiritual strength as they head into adulthood. That they push forward to do good works for Jesus’ sake, and not their own. That they choose the paths they know to be right, regardless of difficulty. That they might each demonstrate to those around them the inexplicable, unquenchable love of Jesus in such a way that the NOT-evolved eyes on our college campuses are opened and ears unstopped. That this generation of Believers will never be silenced.
Will you add your voice to mine today, and to theirs, and to those of the angels in Heaven? Pray with all the gladness and thanksgiving you can muster, because your voice matters. Remember, where there is one person praying, there is always hope.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6