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  • Becky Basulto

A Prayer for Gun Violence in School

"A Prayer for Gun Violence in School" From To Light Their Way by Kayla Craig

O God of protection and peace,

We come to You weary,

Heartbroken, and afraid.

How do we explain to our child

What it means to practice an active shooter drill at school

When we ourselves don’t have the words?

When we ourselves barely understand?

How has it gotten this dangerous

To be a child

In a desk

In a classroom?

We grieve for innocence lost by way of violence.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We ache for teachers who must prepare for the unthinkable.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for every mother father

Who is forever changes by the unimaginable––

The death of a child

At the hands of gun violence

We rub our eyes and will our minds to stop the imagery,

For it is too much to hold.

And yet, some must hold it.

O Lord who said let the little children come to Me,

We have sent our teachers to first-aid seminars

But have not cried out to You to stop the bleeding

Give us the imagination to see a world

Without violence

Give us a Kingdom imagination to create a better future

For our children and their children.

We are scared, Lord.

We even wonder how You can allow

Mass shootings of children to happen.

When we walk our children to their classrooms,

We lament that we quietly assess

How close their tiny cubbies are to the front door.

But we know this is not Your way, O Lord.

Help us beat our swords into plowshares.

Help us put down our swords,

Collectively and individually.

Speak peace into our children’s hearts

As their little minds try to comprehend

The possibilities of what they’re practicing for

Our job as parents is to keep our children safe––

How do we do so?

Give us eyes to see.

Give us new vocabularies

And courageous hearts to champion

Our children.

Lord, heal our collective wounds.

Lord, heal our individual hearts.

That crack into pieces

Every time our kids step onto the school bus.

Lord, may we see into Your upside-down Kingdom.

Give us courage and boldness

To plead the case of our children.

Deliver us from the evil one,

And may our action for a more peaceful world

For our children

Be a prayer of its own.

Lord, hear our prayer.

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