A prayer for seeing my children hug

parenting prayer spirituality Feb 25, 2022

Lord of enveloping grace

your presence enfolds us, in every moment

in every breath, in every precious second of existence,

whether we see it or not.

You are With.

Our God of withness.


I witness my children, enveloping, enfolding,

arms wrapped around one another, fiercely

their intensity an explosion

and this precious moment of existence

explodes my heart.


Because I have seen so much.


Your grace surrounds even these memories

too painful to access without the tenderness of your love


fingertips gently unfolding my protections that hide these memories

from me.


Because they hurt so much.


A tiny baby, freshly home from the hospital, a third son, 

deeply desired and also entirely too much to bear,

the straw that broke me.

My tender tiny someone, sleeping in a carseat

to awake screaming when a wooden car smashes his head.

Two year old brother, teeth bared like a tiger

Roaring in his face.


First words, voice squeaking, exploding out

of this tender tiny someone, directed clearly

at a certain brother

“Go ‘way!”

Already traumatized, already terrified, 

our daily life a misery,

as we wandered without answers, 

trying all the usual parenting practices

that failed us so miserably.

Contorting our children

into a funnel of anger, one to another, intensifying

until the littlest tiny someone,

absorbed the biggest impact.


You were With me

as this truth broke me:

I am unable to keep my children safe.

You were witness to my relentless desire to absorb the impact myself,

to be hurt rather than to witness any more pain.


But Jesus I am not you

my body does not redeem 

I cannot absorb suffering and envelope with redemption.

My pain contorts me,

shaking hands reveal the depth of my trauma


no more Withness to offer.

You witness the breaking,

enveloping, surrounding,

as I finally get enough help.


Grandparents loving

Caregivers separating

Co-regulation, hours, endless,

Screens, so many screens,

Safety creeping

Your love seeping

into our newly made family of grace

Therapists seeking

gently peaking

beneath the fiercely cradled anger

that binds these brothers together.

Love and fear

Hate and joy



I see them slowly reaching

Tenderness newly speaking

Are you seeing

this God, my God?


my boys are smiling,

and I am now weeping,

as they are reaching, 





arms enveloping,

love encircling,

forgiveness enfolding,

as two broken brothers,


And we are all, healed and healing,

Enveloped in grace.

Why is everything so hard?


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