The past few weeks have provided all of us with a range of emotions as several schools in our area have been evacuated due to written and verbal threats being made and/or communicated. While this is something that has been happening on a national scale, we now see it with a fresh pair of eyes as it hits close to home and affects children here in our local community. I’ve wondered how I could respond and how I could encourage from my vantage point as an advocate for children, a Christian, and a childcare director.
I recognize that I don’t have all the answers, nor do I think any of us have the perfect answers to a multitude of issues that affect our children in the current day and time. I do believe that this is a call for us to unite together despite our differences. We must come together to support our children and schools. We must volunteer in our schools. We must listen to our children when they speak (which is hard for us adults) and respect them. We must not immediately get on social media with our frustrations and complaints – we adults need to be part of the solution. We must collectively create a system of support for our children – we must community all the time not just when we’re scared or upset.
Might I add that we can’t talk about what we’ve always we done we have to understand the context of the world in which we are living in and how our children are being affected by things now that a 90s kid like myself was never exposed to, think about when you were in the 1st grade in comparison to a 1st grader you might know today. We have so many things that our children are exposed to now in the realm of social media, hate speech, opioids, gender issues, sexuality, connectivity (internet and cell phones), violence, mass shootings, a culture of fear and anxiety, bullying, and this list goes on. The exposure to things like daily school evacuations is difficult for children to understand and are significantly traumatic for them and can cause long-lasting harm. We have to respond in ways that understand how our children are seeing the world and we must walk with them not command them. We must listen to their needs and hear how they feel. Our children are innocent and unbiased and can teach us something if we will listen and I’m proud to admit that children have taught me a lot and made me a better person.
Today and most every day I’m praying these words:
God our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, and Everything,
Help us to make sense of this broken world we live in that has so many needs and so many unknowns. Help us, adults, to not be selfish but selfless and see the greater good for all people. Help us to be better stewards of your grace and love. Help us to not put our hope in wayward men and women but in you and you alone. Help us to seek your guidance as we walk daily and to share your light with all that we come in contact with. Give us a spirit of calmness so that we don’t react out of anger or rage but with a clear mind that isn’t ignorant or judgmental.
Help us to value the need for human connection and appreciate relationships that we have with one another. Help us to be salt and light in this world. Amen.
I’ve found myself saying more and more “thank you for trusting your babies with me” and that is the honest truth I genuinely am grateful and humbled to be able to share in the lives of so many children and pray that I’m able to add something positive to their bucket and I’m grateful for the staff I get to work alongside and supervise every day that wants the best for our children and their families.
May we all want the best for ALL children!