My son is in first grade. In the first week of school, they do these drills:

  1. Fire drill
  2. Earthquake drill
  3. Lockdown drill

The lockdown involves “hiding and being quiet so the ‘bad guys’ won’t know we’re in there”.


I don’t want to hear about any more thoughts and prayers.

I don’t want to look for the helpers.

I don’t want to hear “it’s too soon.”


In the words of Rabbi Hillel, “If not now, when? If not you, who?”


My prayers are no longer to God in this matter. She knows what’s happening. She grieves.

My prayer is for people to wake up, to refuse to become complicit in gun violence, to shut down the rhetoric of “All Lives Matter” because they clearly don’t.

My prayer is for us to say, “Enough and no more” and to say it with our votes, our letters, our marches, our dollars, our angry refusal to back down and allow one more death on our watch.


Comfort, comfort my people, says the prophet. But do not lie to them. Do not offer platitudes. And don’t pretend to care, if you don’t. 


My prayer is this: I dare to hope that when my daughter starts kindergarten in 2018 that her first week of school has:

  1. Fire drill
  2. Earthquake drill





7 thoughts on “Thursday Prayer: Dear God, @##!**$^@^!#!!

  1. Thank you! My prayers from the Midwest would be for fire and tornado drills. Something natural. Something that we don’t have to fear as we walk into a school, a restaurant, a movie theater, a mall. Something we don’t question as we send our children to school, or take a walk down the street.

    O Lord, open the ears, eyes, hearts, and minds of all your people. Dispell fear – especially the fear of losing what perceived power one feels they have over another. Remind us that you are the power – our Alpha and our Omega. Loving Creator, help us reclaim our identity as a Resurrection people – a people who know that death does not win – only your light and love win! Send your Spirit upon us to give us what we need to actively fight this. We cannot do it alone. Come into this world – Emmanuel – and save us from ourselves! Amen.


  2. Amen. As someone who worked on a high school campus for years, I’ve experienced many lockdown drills, and three actual lockdowns. They are scary. I would look at my kiddos, thinking of all the best ways to ensure no one could get in at us. Like, if we were all in the supply room (I managed the supplies) we would stack all the boxes of paper against the door, just to be sure, in case they got through the lock… That I could grab one of the baseball bats one baseball team member always left in my office, and swing away if someone got in…. That I would learn in training to use anything I could pick up as a weapon in a fight, and that large zip-ties can be used to secure the top hinge of a door you can’t lock… Never in my wildest imaginings did I ever think I would be in such a position, thinking such thoughts, or that my beautiful teenage student aides or whoever was in my office at that moment might be dependent upon me to keep them alive. But that is what’s expected of our educators and their support staff these days. We go through training on what to do in the event of an active shooter.
    It’s a long way from my childhood “duck and cover” drills.


  3. As the afternoon went on, my children talked more and more about what their day was like. My daughter was in Chinese enrichment class and her class was goofing around as in a drill until her regular teacher returned as quickly as she could. And said the words: This is not a drill. They read books and ate lunch under their desks. The kids who brought lunch were ready to share with the kids who get cafeteria lunch and they were holding some back in case they needed it for dinner. She said it was hard to remember that the day had started normally with Math quizzes and early English class.

    It was hard to remember that the day had started normally with a staff meeting and angry emails from part time staff member.

    It was hard to remember that the day had started normally.

    And I fear that because the suspect is who he is, our culture of violence won’t be blamed, but his religion will be.

    Not only was this my city, but he was a student at the school where I taught when I taught there many years ago. I opened a yearbook and found his class picture and his picture in the Friday Night Live club.

    It was hard to remember that the day had started normally.



    1. Wendy, you have been on my mind (which is different than “in my thoughts and prayers,” although that, too). Thank you for telling us what the day was like. Thank you. Thank God your family is safe.


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