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A prayer for my off-to-jr-high son

August 13, 2009 1 comment

Father

I can’t believe that the man-in-process that I dropped off today is the same person that I held for the first time in the middle of the night in a thunderstorm almost 13 years ago. It’s been so fast. But so fun.

Watching him be engulfed by the crowd and the building, there are so many things I want to ask of You.

The basics first, I guess. Keep him safe. Calm his nervous heart and help him find his rhythm. Help him find his classes and the cafeteria. Give him great teachers who recognize how special you made him. Give him at least one familiar face in each of his classes. Let him feel known.

And protect him. From the inevitable hurtful words of former friends who choose another way. From the lies of cool and the “right” way to be. From internalizing the identities that others will seek to assign him. From the million potential scars lurking behind every decision.

Give him joy. Keep him a little bit silly. Help him hold on to his sense of wonder about the world you made and the way it works. Let his heart stay young as long as it can. Teach him to celebrate the small victories. I know every moment won’t (can’t) be fun, but give him more than his share.

Go with him where I can’t. Whisper in his heart when he can’t hear my voice. Help him refuse to settle for lesser things. In his loneliest moment, remind him of your faithfulness. Guide his steps and draw him closer to you. As he becomes a man, help him become a man of God. Let his be the life that impacts those around him. In the halls, the classroom, the locker room, the gym – help him carry you. Teach him to be an extender of your grace to every life he encounters. May Brink be a different place because he was there, and you in him.

And help me. To hang on tightly, but loosely. To love him well and teach him to love well. To pray for him, his teachers, his coaches, his friends. To cheer him on and hold him back. To guide and shut up. To laugh and cry and dance and mourn. To make time to shoot baskets or talk or ask questions or help with homework. To see and embrace both the child and the man. To trust you with this precious gift you have given me.

I know you are in there with him. Take care of my son. He is yours and I trust you.

Amen.

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