God, bless children, parents, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, guidance counselors, lunch ladies, coaches, custodians, academic advisors, and youth ministers, as another school year begins.
Bless kids that are driving for the first time. Keep them safe.
Bless kids that are going to their first parties and their first dates. Keep them safe, too.
And God, I beg You; let this be a year without a school shooting. Make yourself real and present for any kid that would consider hurting himself or others. Overcome hate and darkness, anger and loneliness, bullying and prejudice and desperation. Replace them with love and light and peace and community and friendship and understanding and hope.
Let this year be the year that anonymous small towns stay anonymous. I wish to God I had never heard of Uvalde. Or Parkland. Or Columbine. So Lord, I beg You: put a friend in the life a a kid in a town somewhere that I’ve never heard of, so that at the end of this school year, I still will have never heard of it.
I know you can do it Lord. These thoughts and prayers are going out before the tragedy. Before the makeshift memorials. Before the news helicopters. Because the thoughts and prayers that go out after feel hollow. So Lord, let this be an unusual year, simply because it’s normal.