yesterday was the annual see you at the pole prayer day at many high schools around the country.
the very day that another broken person decided to enter a high school with a gun and take students hostage.
a junior, emily keyes was shot (and died later in the day) before the gunman killed himself.
according to the article this young woman was having a bad day before the gunman arrived and she was having a tough time with other students. while i don't know her real situation, i wonder if she was one of those students who are "lost" and "forgotten," not the cheerleader, or the athlete, or the jr. class president.
but just a kid struggling to make it in a very complex, competitive world...high school.
any time a student dies, whether in a violent way, suicide or a car wreck, i am made more aware of the need we have to PAY ATTENTION!
there are so many students out there in middle school and high school who are lonely, who are struggling, who feel like they are the only ones who aren't cool or who can't cut it. they go home and lose themselves on the internet or in video games or even into darker things like cutting and porn...
ARE WE PAYING ATTENTION?
i have high schoolers myself...yep two of them.
i have a daily ritual prayer ritual of walking my dog around the high school and praying for the students and staff there... i pray for kingdom people to live and love as jesus there so folks can know him. i pray for these well to do, well educated kids to have global perspective and see beyond themselves to the needs of others. i pray for individual students i know and love. and today i added safety and protection to my petitions.
WILL YOU JOIN ME IN PRAYER TODAY?
i am asking you to join me in praying for students at Platte Canyon High School in colorado where they've suffered an extreme loss and a violation of their safety and security. pray also for emily's family and friends to feel god's healing love.
i am also asking you to join me in praying for students at your local high school and middle/jr high schools...(why not drive by or walk by and pray around it?)
and pray for the youth at your church and/or in your neighborhood.
pray for teachers, coaches, staff and administration too.
pray for youth pastors and volunteers...
pray that all of these groups and individuals have energy to love kids, to notice when someone is lonely or in pain. pray that they will choose to say positive things rather than negative, that they will choose to sit with the 'outcasts' and pay attention to the loners.
and i also ask you to search you hearts and your calendars and see if you have time to invest in the life of a student this fall...
perhaps someone in your neighborhood
someone in the youth group at your church
a friend of yours who has a high schooler or jr. higher at home
students need someone to just listen and hear them out...someone other than a parent who can be a postive person in their life.
jesus help us to see as you see
and to love as you love
be with the students, friends and family who loved emily...
comfort them today
lord jesus, be with the lonely kids who go unnoticed in the hallways,
be close to those who sit by themselves at lunch, the ones who cut themselves, who cry themselves
to sleep and the ones who just don't have hope today.
be with the over achievers who are persuing the "mighty A " and who are desperate to perform
and get in that "right "collage. show them their is more to life and help them relax and like
themselve for who they are...and not for their gradepoint average.
be with those in the middle who are just trying to make it through another day of algebra, english, and social studies.
lord jesus help us to reach out to students who come our way
help us to really listen
to really pay attention
to actually give a care about them as real people!
open our eyes that we may see
protect us from our blindness
protect these precious students from their pain and themselves and from the hatred
bring folks into their lives who can show them your love, your joy, your peace and your passion for each of them
thanks jesus for loving them and for loving each of us in the midst of life.