It’s the first day of school around here. My 6’3″ firstborn walked out the door to start his sophomore year, hands in jean pockets, looking at his boots, one ear bud in, one draped over the other ear, baseball cap and t-shirt sporting his athletic cowboy look. My 5’10” freckle-faced, fair-skinned and just-as-sensitive-in-heart son walked out the door to face his first year in high school fretting about having to carry his clarinet and backpack, chosing to leave his water bottle behind because it made his backpack unbalanced. They are two totally different young men. And in my eyes, they look exactly like they did when their voices were high pitched and needy and one clung to my leg while the other chased a ball.
I don’t feel the same first day gitters about school that I used to. I used to feel that nervous, butterflies in your stomach feeling when they would go to their grade school because I remember how it felt. But now I feel a very real sense of danger and fear threatening. At the breakfast table this morning, my sons were talking about why there are school shooters. I didn’t bring it up. This was their morning convo over a breakfast shake and tamales (yes, that was breakfast). I wanted to hide them. I don’t want to talk about school shootings like it’s normal. I don’t want them to go out into that world of sexting and drug trafficking, experimenting, and curiosity pressed by the pressure of peers. I don’t want them to learn or believe that they’re just random, chance pieces of matter and that they don’t really matter. The message of the world is so hopeless. So deadly. But I do have hope.
My hope is in the One who saw Moses placed by faith in a boat of his parents’ making, and handed over by his mother to a kingdom who’s worship and wealth would surely allure a young man’s appetites. My hope for my two sons is that they are not mine. And they are not the world’s. They are set apart for Christ. God gave them to me, kowing I am his daughter. And I have committed them to Christ. My hope is that the One who hears my cries, sees their plight and is good and faithful.
I’m entrusting these two souls to you Jesus! Please hear my cries. I am the woman who stood praying for these two sons! I wanted to be a mother and you gave me Connor and Ryland. And I have dedicated them to you from their birth. I have not hidden the message of the gospel from them. They have seen my weakness and heard me cry to you for strength. They have heard your word and have been embraced by your people. Please show them your power and your faithfulness. Please let them see the beauty of God in the face of Christ. Please give them a sense today that they are set apart for you.