This prayer is for those graduating –
For those who dreamed how the final days of school would go
What they’d experience in savoring the “lasts”
Of friendships, events, dances, classes, tests
And how nothing seemed to go as planned.
This prayer holds the lost chances and missed opportunities
This prayer feels the sadness at not walking down the school hallways again
Not hearing the laughter and cheers of friends
Not sitting under the lights of the football stadium one last time
Not joining in a chorus of songs or playing the final note of a concert.
This prayer is for those who have needed to find grace
In new ways of learning and interacting
Staying connected with family, teachers, and friends
Putting future plans on hold.
This prayer is for those who have moved into the unknown
Unsure of what life will look like on the other side
Uncertain of where they are going and what it will look like.
This prayer is for all those facing graduation, the ending of a school year,
But also a prayer for those about to begin
With an understanding that life is never what we expect
That the best laid plans sometimes turn upside down
That friendship can be deepened through notes, texts, and phone calls
That food and games can be shared meaningfully through a screen
That walks in our neighborhoods open us to the beauty and life in our midst
That caring for our neighbor is a holy act
That time for rest is good for the spirit.
This prayer goes with you wherever you will go
And will continue to cheer you on
Reminding you that you have been prepared for such a time as this
That you go not alone
The spirit guides you with wisdom, love, and hope.
This prayer is for you – if you find it, know it’s been offered in love
By the God who has claimed you before you were born and marked you as beloved.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website, follow her work on Facebook, or sign up for her monthly newsletter.