Today my mind is reeling from the events of yesterday in Moore, OK. As a teacher, my heart shudders at the thought of a tornado ripping through a building full of students. Seeing it plastered on the news over and over is giving me many reasons to pray.
It is the final week of classes here at my high school. Generally that is a cause for great rejoicing and always that is a cause for heartfelt prayer as well. I don't know as we teachers discuss our prayers for our students much. I am sure that all teachers of faith do it, however. There are several kinds of prayers that we send up to the higher power keeping watch over our students as the travel through their years in our school.
Most often, we pray for those who are struggling for various reasons... personal, academic, and socially. These prayers are the obvious ones. The less obvious are the ones that involve where a student might go but has not yet gone... choices we know they are wrestling with, futures they have yet to decide, and sometimes decisions we know they must make but are avoiding.
But today, I am praying for the students in a place I have never been. I am praying that many more of them will be found safely tucked away in spots in their schools that perhaps sheltered them. I am praying for the parents of those who will not be found among the survivors. I am praying for the rescue and recovery workers; a more paradoxically heroic and onerous task than I can even imagine. I am praying that the families who have lost all they own will be cared for and loved and reassured that they have those around them who will help.
And I am praying that my students will be spared from ever experiencing such horrible events of nature. Even as the storm clouds build outside on what could prove to be a severe weather day here in Missouri. I do not call such events acts of God... God does not act in this way. God was in those schools helping the teachers protect the little ones who hid beneath them in the storms. God is with the rescue workers digging with hope. God is acting through all of us sending money, blood donations, and whatever we can to aid them. Those are acts of God. We are acts of His love in the world. And He tells us, "Be still and know that I am God" - so today, I will be still and pray to Him.