December 18, 2012

A Parent's Prayer

This is a blog about parenting. In this post I offer a short parent’s prayer.  I shared this prayer last night on DSMALive Parents Talk. My thanks to Cherise and Lorraine for helping me find these words:

Father above, we feel a small sample of your infinite parental love with the children we have been blessed to raise, to care for and to love. We pray for a similar measure of your wisdom and grace to guide us as we react to the horror that has happened in Newtown. We pray that your love be felt by parents and the community in Connecticut and by all who struggle with shock and grief.

I wrote a letter to a friend years ago. He and I differ on some trivial things, like politics. Still I know, respect and love what is at his core. We are both proud fathers, husbands, sons and brothers. We share the love of family, humor, neighbor, community and country.

In retrospect why I wrote this letter is insignificant in light of the tragedy in Connecticut. Still I think there is a key truth in it. I hear this truth coming from parents who lost a child last friday. In their grief they struggle to be true to the unconditional embracing love that defined their children's lives. I think we need to start the process of responding to the Newtown massacre with the assumption of good in those with who we may differ.

With that I offer this letter; Bad things happen to good people


  1. Beautifully written Bennet. I love your closing line about starting with the assumption of good in those with who we differ. It's harder and harder to find people who can do that though. People seem to be polarized on every issue and spew hate towards anyone who happens to have a different view or opinion. In today's social media world, we see it more often and with greater speed.

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  3. So true Mark. I think that polarization often confuses means and motives.

    People of the very best will can differ on the means of acting from very similar loves. The first and really only thing I can control is how I look at others, if I assume they are acting from good will then I can try to act constructively.

    I think the polarization in our discourse driven by means where the means become the ends devoid of the loves that drive them. In part I think that the polarization is an end, and end that drives ratings and sells commercial time and misleads some to mistake the ends other seek as a lack of love. Most egregiously ends are mistaken on all extremes for love of the nation, neighbor and innocent kids.

    Best to you and yours Mark.