|"Heralding Angels" by Annie Henrie|
Prayers for Rory, whose brother died Friday and who found out while he was in my classroom. Who seemed so lonely and sad and confused and my words failed. Prayers for the two babies and the wife of that brother, who found themselves widowed and fatherless and who must be, must be, in the special providential care of the Father of all.
Prayers for Michael who told Rory that he worries every minute of every day that his father will be killed in Afghanistan but that he has learned to trust that death is not something to fear. Death is not the end, it is the beginning. Death is a great, bright adventure. We should not be afraid of death.
Prayers for Lorina who told Rory that three of her siblings died by the time she was twelve. When her six-year-old sister died when she was twelve, she saw her little brother and sister who had gone on before come to recover her and take her into a world of light. Who still feels their presences and thinks of their faces and wonders and hopes.
Prayers for Andre whose mother and father died in a car crash when he was a small boy and who was adopted, along with his four siblings, by his aunt and uncle who already had six small children of their own. Who began hating his aunt-mother when he was a young teenager and felt that his own mother would not be so demanding and his life would have been much better if she had not died but who eventually tried to serve and love her and realized she is a marvelous, beautiful woman. I really love her, he said. Who told us all this a week ago and who asked if he could maybe offer a prayer for Rory. He prayed for courage and hope and comfort and strength.
And prayers for all the rest of those bright, beautiful, broken kids who wept with and for Rory and who are fighting demons and devils and darkness of their own. Prayers for this world in which horrible things happen and people shine with a light so resplendent it makes you wince in agonizing love.