From my veins, the blood flows
Through my racing heart
I am the pen that carries the desire to touch each heart,
And with my faith light it up with joy.
To live in solidarity with others in this world
I am the thirsty soul of a world without divisions
A world willing to learn and where each failure is synonymous with courage
I refuse to give in to any despair.
Salimata Coulibaly, age 16
Beautiful, hopeful words written by a young girl from the war-torn country of Mali. While few would consider our country as war-torn, the uptick in hate crimes, bullying, cyber hate, and general violence can’t be ignored – especially when our youth are often heavily impacted by these despicable acts. As we begin a new school year, I watch children board the school bus, laughing and smiling, and I know that in every classroom there is a teacher waiting with unspoken prayers for safety and protection over those young learners. To me, September is synonymous with hope. During my own years in the classroom, I found myself reciting Jeremiah 29:11 frequently as I greeted each day with renewed, albeit cautious hope for my students.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Our educators need us to join them in their prayers and work together to build communities where hope can flow without caution or fear.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I ask you to watch over each learner and educator this school year. Help them feel loved and supported, and most importantly, keep them safe. Let our faith in you light each heart with joy! Amen