A Palms Up School Prayer For a Pandemic

To the God of all our seasons,

We have some things we want to make sure you're noticing.

We have very mixed feelings about school this year.

Our children organize their school supplies and their desk

in our dining rooms, kitchens and living rooms.

They pick out a favorite shirt, knowing the bottom half doesn't matter.

Passwords don't work while our inbox overflows with multiple teachers and schedules and learning platforms.

Video calls glitch and freeze while our children try to listen, learn and make a new friend.

The frustration and tears welcome the grief that's been resting below the surface for months.

This isn't how it's supposed to be.

This could have been avoided. Strong and clear leadership could have led us down a different path.

But they didn't.

So here we are.

God, we need to make sure you notice. Because we need you.

We're exhausted on a level we have no words for.

We've been trying to hold this together for months.

Our well of patience and positivity is running dry.

We're trying to work and earn our paycheck,

while the kids call from the other room with another question.

Every nine minutes.

God, we need you.

Because we cannot even imagine how the teachers must be feeling.

Forced to access creativity and imagination during an exhausting year.

Missing their classroom. Their students.

And yet, God, they're doing it. We all are.

In the midst of one of the most difficult years in recent memory,

we're all summoning a love, a patience, an energy

that feels like you.

We try to smile when Zoom crashes.

We try to laugh when our kid sits down at a computer with a fancy shirt and rumpled shorts.

We send a message to the teacher to say we're cheering them on.

We send crying emojis to our friends.

We lower our expectations.

We open our clenched hands. The ones that keep trying to hang on to how it should be.

Because it's not.

It just isn't.

So here we are, God.

Help us open our tight, angry, scared fists.

May we breathe deeply of this moment.

Of the awkward beauty of it all.

That your children are making a thing happen that we're also angry about.

I hope you're proud of us.

Here's to serving the mental and emotional health of our teachers, students and parents this school year.

God, may your love, patience, creativity, forgiveness and invitation to begin again

and again

and again

and again

and again

and again

be very, very close.

Palms up.