Like many teachers at the beginning of the school year, I share pictures of my family with my classes. This year, I did something I’ve never done before. I shared a prayer request. Working in a Christian school affords me this privilege, and praying with my students is easily one of my favorite things. But usually we pray over their needs, not mine.
I shared how my son Jackson only says five words, even though he should be speaking in full sentences. I showed them a picture of his special preschool for children who are delayed. Several students in different classes specifically asked if he said “mama”. When I told them no you could hear the room sink with sadness and their tiny faces looked at me as if they understood my heaviness.
Without fail, every class filled my heart to overflowing. They responded with compassion and encouragement. They asked thoughtful questions and promised to remember “Jack Jack” in their prayers.
They kept their promise. Mothers stopped me in the hallway before and after school to tell me their children are praying for my child at bedtime. Teachers are writing Jack’s name on their prayer request sheet because students are remembering, believing and asking. I am humbled and cannot hold back the tears as I think of all the prayers shooting up to heaving and reaching the ever listening ears of God.
I am also learning. Without even knowing it, my students are teaching me. Their faith is so big. So honest and pure. I asked them to pray and they did. Then they expected an answer. A first grader spoke up immediately after we prayed and said, “He’ll probably start talking so much when you go home tonight.” I smiled and dismissed his comment but as it turns out, that squirrely kid could teach me a thing or two about faith and expectancy.
Tuesday when I picked Jack up from daycare he was standing at the door smiling. His teacher told me he’d been waiting by the door for me, laughing and saying “mommy” over and over and over. He said it again this morning as I helped him get dressed.
New words are coming.
I think a new level of faith is too.