I get up every weekday morning with my high schooler who has to catch the bus at a ridiculouosly early hour for a kid who just turned 16. Make no mistake, there is not deep conversation, nor are there fond expressions of love and care. No. It’s more of a presence thing. A keep-you-company-while-you-try-to-force-down-some-breakfast thing. But the one thing I always do is say a prayer as the school bus pulls down the street. Because I know something about the world she is entering. There is risk there, and harm, and challenge and hardship. It is not a safe place for a kid who just turned 16.
Of course I may not be SEEN praying or supporting. I may not wave as I did when she was small. I must vanish into the background so I am not embarrassing to her. But this is the nice thing about prayer; it is fully effective, seen or unseen. I respect her wishes and generally stand on the porch and “look on” as she and the others board the bus.
But today I closed the front door and peered through the beveled glass as the bus pulled away. My view was a kaleidoscope of shades of black and red. It was dark and I couldn’t even make out the yellow of the bus. Only the tail lights were visible, and they were distorted alternately into a point and then a line. The line growing smaller and more faint as the bus descended the hill.
How I see but dimly, I thought. How nearly in the dark I am about what will come to her in this day. And yet I pray because there is One who knows perfectly. Who sees clearly, even what’s ahead for her. And this is the One who receives my prayers. Even launched into the dim, distorted, dark.
How pompous I am to think that any other prayer I offer is any more foresighted than these. And yet how grateful.