I ran into a former student today. “Mrs. Peterson?” she asked (it’s been years since we’ve seen each other).
“H? How did you recognize me with sunglasses and a mask…?”
“It was your voice…”
Your voice. Our voice...
Compassionate Heavenly Mother,
As we enter a school year unlike another, grant us grace—grace for ourselves, grace for our students, grace for their parents, grace for our coworkers. Remind us—constantly but gently—that every single person has been through so much in the last six months, including ourselves. Free us from the temptation of comparison, as we look at what used to be and what could have been. Rescue us from our own thoughts.
We are so anxious, Mama. Still, help us find creative solutions to meet every kid. We ask that we would feel a closeness and kindredness to our students that can only come from the Divine; that we would be flooded with renewed patience and understanding; that amidst all the unknown we would search for and find true JOY...the kind of joy that still makes room for hurt and anxiety and loneliness and can say, “Baby, I’ve been there. I see your ache. I know the pain. But I’ve come out the other side and I say let’s enjoy this day together.”
May our voices be a soothing salve to the hurting. May they find comfort and solace in our rooms—whether physical or virtual. Grant us the tenderness of a new mama. Open our eyes to see and honor the Light in every soul. Open our ears to hear each story. Open our hearts to let each story move us.
Give us the words when we start to grasp. Grant us the wisdom when silence is needed. And give us the courage to sit and cry with the brokenness.
In the midst of the unknown, in the midst of the chaos, remind us that You are the God who sees us tossing and turning at night, the One who collects our tears and records them in Her book (Ps. 56:8). Remind us we are not alone. We are not unseen.
Finally, I ask for what feels impossible right now. I ask for unity. I ask that we see both the humanity and the Divine in one another. I ask for less strife and more open doors. I ask for less talking and more listening. I ask for less judgment and more grace; fewer assumptions, more understanding. And start with me, Oh God. Start in my heart. Purify my heart so I can see the world through Your eyes.