Posted on | April 17, 2013 | 7 Comments
Last night, just before bed, my three year old son told me he was going to teach me a prayer. I was obviously game, so he started out slowly, saying one sentence then having me repeat it.
“Dear God,” he clasped his hands together and closed his eyes, lifting his lashes to see if I followed suit. In a stage whisper, he directed me: “You have to close your eyes like this, Mommy!”
I smiled and closed my eyes. I repeated his words, most of which had to do with playing on the playground or our vegetables we planted. But then, towards the end of his “prayer” he said something that has stayed with me.
“And when we serve,” his sweet voice spoke.
“And when we serve,” I responded.
“May there always be more…”
My voice caught a little when I spoke the words back to him. He ended his prayer and I turned off the light, but his words circled my heart:
When we serve, may there always be more.
Isn’t that just perfect? Isn’t that just exactly right? As a human being, as a mother, and as a runner, I have been struggling with what happened in Boston. I haven’t been able to wrap my head around the audacity of it all… the anger I feel, the sadness, the ache. I’ve been wondering just how to make sense out of a world that seems to be increasingly dangerous… a world I am somewhat fearfully raising my child to be a part of. I’ve felt at odds with even myself since Monday, wondering how to prepare J for a world where even great accomplishments are marred by great sadness; wondering how to teach him to be fearless in a world where such things can happen.
And then he taught me a little prayer, just a little prayer, that made it all make sense. When we serve, may there always be more. When we are the people we should be, when we serve the way we should serve, may there always be more of that than evil. May there always be more good, more love, more trust to spread around. May there always be more smiles to share, more hands to squeeze in friendship, more hearts to tend with kindness. May there always be more in us to give… more joy, more hope, more delight in even the smallest of things. When I serve, may I always find more strength, more faith, more courage within myself.
It’s hard to be courageous in a world like ours. It’s hard to get back up when you’ve been punched in the gut again and again. It’s hard to put a smile back on your face and keep moving forward in the direction laid out for you. But it is my prayer that when we as a country, when we as a people, when we as a race serve each other kindness, goodwill, love, and compassion… that there will always be more of the same stretching out to the horizon.