Her mom on the other hand is a tad apprehensive. I know my child has everything she needs – both tangible and intangible – but it doesn’t stop me from having a few pangs of anxiety.
Maybe you’ve got a little one starting school for the first time too. Or a not-quite-as-little-one moving into middle school or junior high or high school or, dare I say, on to post-secondary school this week. My heart is pounding as I think of my own daughter continuing to grow up as quickly as she has thus far, and I’m certain that if I blink a few times, she’ll be off to high school.
As I said, I know she’s ready, but I’m still nervous. She is equipped with all she needs, but it is on her to put into action what she knows is good. I wonder if that’s how God feels about us as his children:
They have all that they need; they just need to put it into action.
Not that I think that God gets nervous, but I wonder if he just wants to shout a little louder to us some days: “Be careful…don’t say that…remember to say thanks…be nice to that new friend…treat them the way you want to be treated…for heaven’s sake, cover your mouth…” Okay, that last one was just me. But you get the idea.
I wonder what he wants to prompt us with today about the way we are treating those in need both in our own communities and around the world. I know that many of us have heavy hearts for our Syrian family, and others around the world who have been driven from their country of origin because of pain, suffering, and conflict. Yeah, we might call them refugees, but I like to remember them as family.
Today, I can't simply write a post from a happy - albeit, anxious - mother and her child on the child's first day of school because I think that God is saying something more to me: you have all you need, you just need to put it into action.
When I think of action, I think of an immediate start, go, do. But lately I have been reminded that action starts with prayer. Prayer isn't the only action; it is the start of action. Prayer acts as a filter and a guide for the action God wants us to take.
And so, for my child starting school today, I have prayed and will continue to pray. For the children who won't attend school today, I want to invite you to join me in this prayer. Remember that our family doesn't start and end with bloodlines or proximity. Our family extends around the world. Our family is meant to wage peace in a world at war.
When I left our home each morning for school, my mom used to say this over me as I walked through the door:
“May the Lord bless you
and take good care of you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord look on you with favor
and give you peace.”
My prayer is that together we can speak this over our family that is displaced across the world, and that we can be advocates to help bring peace to the lives of many. It's the first day of school - let's all learn a little something.
For more on this, read:
They Have Faces and Names Too