“Back to school!” is the song echoing in the air. Many parents feel apprehensive during this season – whether they’re seeing a little one off for the first time, or finally passing the carefully designed road map for college over to their now young adult.
Mothers and fathers everywhere want the same outcome for their children – great teachers, good schedules, the blessings of true friendships, a child going forward happily and confidently. The emotional resiliency required of parents in transitioning into the school year can feel like a monumental task of mental juggling. The pressing concerns of societal influence and the safety of the environment rank paramount in parents’ concern for their children’s welfare.
As a parent I’ve found countless examples in the Bible that illustrate earnest prayer in securing a desired peace and assurance for those within their embrace. Recently, the sharing by a dear friend illustrated a modern example of finding confidence through prayer for the welfare of her daughter.
The opportunity for her daughter to venture off on an art-study program that required going into an isolated region among strangers, and in an environment with remote and primitive conditions, prompted my friend to pray humbly for the well-being of her child. She told of how her prayer was to know how the love of God was ever present with her daughter as she integrated within the community. And this very prayer awakened in her a realization that to be truly effective in praying, she must pray to understand that everyone – not just her daughter – was enveloped in God’s law of love and goodness. She reflected on the statement, “one Father with His universal family, held in the gospel of Love” – language from the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 577).
The outcome for my friend’s daughter was beyond expectation. Not only was she completely safe throughout her project, but the very community she was endeavoring to study and portray in her art actually became her refuge, as they approached her and embraced her within their care and activities.
The example of my friend resonates for other parents as they yearn for their children to have a secure, happy, and productive school experience. Including everyone in our prayer and hope for harmony, we can extend that “gospel of Love” and bring a comprehensive result of good for all to the community.
The Christian doctrine of the gospel of Love certainly was a tenet of Christ Jesus in his ministry, and it continues to resonate today as a standard for prayer and inclusion of all in the blessing.