Child Watch: Sowing Seeds of Life and Hope

Child Watch: Sowing Seeds of Life and Hope
by Marian Wright Edelman
Parenting is a call and a blessing that can be a challenge under any circumstances. This has been a season like no other, but this Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate all mothers (and fathers, teachers, and caregivers) who sow seeds of life and hope for the future and pray that they will be able to keep moving through their own uncertainties and challenges while loving and sustaining the children in their care.
As parents our instinct is to protect even when we know we cannot. I worry about my children and grandchildren every day as they go about their lives of study and work and play in our unpredictable world. I alleviate my anxieties by committing their safety and guidance to God. I recall times of great danger when I believe only a mother’s primal plea to God for help rescued my children: when one dashed across a busy street with an unseen car speeding around the corner; when two of my grown children, heedless of warning signs all along the beach, were nearly washed out to sea in a dangerous ocean’s undertow. And I am reminded of how good God is and how dependent on Him I am and they are.
And so each day I recommit my family to His care. A prayer from the Hebridean Altars is one I use—inserting my children’s and grandchildren’s names and those of other special people in my life in place of “me.”
God, be with me in this, Thy day, every day and every way, with me and for me in this, Thy day.
On this Mother’s Day weekend, I offer more special prayers.
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Dear God, I thank You for the gift of this child to raise, this life to share, this mind to help mold, this body to nurture, and this spirit to enrich.
Let me never betray this child’s trust, dampen this child’s hope, or discourage this child’s dreams.
Help me dear God to help this precious child become all You mean him to be.
Let your grace and love fall on him like gentle breezes and give him inner strength and peace and patience for the journey ahead.
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God, help me to weave a tapestry of love and not hate in my children, a spirit of tolerance and caring, and a dedication to freedom for all and not just some. God, help me to sow seeds of peace and justice in my children’s hearts today.
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Thank you, God, for Your never-ceasing love and inexhaustible well of hope through the gift of children.
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Oh God, help us to be worthy of the children You have entrusted to our care.
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The final prayer is a call to action.
O God of all time
Yesterday, today, tomorrow, and eternity
Give us courage in our lifetimes
To make war on war
Which leaves behind waifs and widows
Rubble of spirit, home, and community.

Mothers, grandmothers, and all with a mothering spirit
Let us declare and demand:
No more war
No more violence and abuse
No more killing of our young

O God of yesterday, today, tomorrow, and eternity
Our dwelling place in all generations
Give us courage to sow seeds of life and hope for the future
And to fight with all our moral might for justice for every child
Help us to pluck the thorns of despair from our children’s lives.

Mothers, grandmothers, and all with a mothering spirit
Let us declare and demand:
No more hunger
No more homelessness
No more poverty

O God of yesterday, every child’s history
O God of today, every living child’s birthright
O God of tomorrow, every child’s inheritance
O God of eternity, every child’s hope
Lift our voices against the spiritual and cultural pollution
which leave dreamless and purposeless the fruit of our wombs

Mothers, grandmothers, and all with a mothering spirit
Let us stand together and build a world fit for children
Calling all to serve, to care, and to act to leave no child behind.
Marian Wright Edelman is Founder and President Emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to childrensdefense.org.

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