Even though our school district provides transportation to and from school, John and I have chosen to drive our kids every day. I actually really love this part of my day. I love being able to pray with them on the way to school each morning, asking God to watch over and care for them, or to help them do well on their test or presentation or project, and I love it when they climb in the van after school bursting with stories of the day. Seriously, those are high points of each day for me.
Yesterday as I was sitting in the pick-up line, waiting for the bell to ring, and my children to emerge from the set of double doors, I felt like I was extraordinarily aware of how many opportunities I have to pray for other kids as well.
I watched one of Sarah's friends make her way to the end of the sidewalk to wait for her mom. This little girl is beautiful, inside and out. And just seeing her standing there in the sun, smiling and happy brought praise to my lips. "E" was diagnosed with leukemia in first grade, and she continued to battle it during her second grade year as well. She's a fourth-grader in complete remission now, and is living proof of the Lord's healing power. And so I thanked Him for her life, and for her family, and for the joy that she spreads to all who know her.
Next, I noticed a boy in Will's grade. He's not a kid I particularly enjoy being around, and he's tried to stir things up with my son more times than I care to think about. I also happen to know that his parents are going through a nasty divorce right now, and that has to be affecting him in some pretty significant ways. And so I prayed for him, and for his family.
My heart nearly broke when I saw another little friend of Sarah's. Her parents are divorced also, and they share custody of "N" and her little sister. Yesterday must have been her mom's day to have her because she spotted her mom walking up the sidewalk, ran full-force into her open arms, and they spent the better part of a minute standing there locked in embrace. I prayed for her mom and asked God to give her the strength to share her children with their father (and by the way, they seem to do a beautiful job of this). And prayed for the little girls too because as well-adjusted as they seem, there are probably many things they do not understand about their situation.
And then my daughter's class walked out, and about 5 little girls flung their arms around their teachers's waist and hugged her. She hugged them right back, and the joy that I felt in that moment was intense. That teacher LOVES those children, and they love her right back. So, I stopped and thanked God for Mrs. P, and Mrs. G, and Mr. T, and Mrs. B, and Mrs. P, and for all the many teachers at our kids school. We are incredibly blessed.
I prayed for Sarah as she ran to the van. That kid greets me every single afternoon with a smile from ear-to-ear. She loves filling me in on her day, and I love listening to her. Abbey was the first to spot Will, and I prayed silently for him as he made his way over to the van too. He's such a great kid, and I am feeling a little sad that he will be heading to middle school next year. I'm praying like crazy that he'll continue to make good choices and that God will send a good little friend his way (his two best buds are going to a different middle school).
Everyone piled into the van, and we headed home, but I still had the faces of a couple of those kids' in my mind. I can't say that I've ever thought to pray in the pick-up line before, but I guaranteee you I will be very aware of the opportunity to do so in the future.