One snowy morning in a small Pennsylvania town, a high-speed train came thundering down the rails from Boston en route to Washington. It swiftly cut through the cold air reaching speeds upwards of 110 mph. 16-year-old Gina and her best friend, 15-year-old Vanessa, hurried onto the tracks as the speeding train quickly approached. The whistle frantically sounded and the girls didn’t move. They hugged. And that was it.
This morning, I watched as my daughters left for school on their bikes. “Bye daddy!” they yelled as they slowly rode off, their little legs gradually picking up speed. I stood in the driveway. My eyes never left them as they grew smaller and smaller in the distance. I have never loved them more.
Pray for your kids. Pray for mine. They are not yet ready to take on the serious business of life. As they move into more difficult years, their darkness is different from ours. A smudge for you and me is shattered glass to them. A mirror’s whisper can drown out your compliments. Hurtful treatment by a girl at school can wipe clear the self-esteem you’ve helped build. Something we can easily brush off can be the end of their world and in the case of Gina and Vanessa, their lives.
My prayer is that I will be shown ways to help my two beautiful girls become strong, confident young women; that in times of trouble, they will see beyond what is now; that when they enter a room, the room changes; that when they leave that room, someone is touched by their presence.
I cannot do anything about the young girls on those railroad tracks in Pennsylvania. I can’t save them. What I can do is pray for the people who loved them. I can pray for the future of a third friend who was with them on that tragic day and backed out of their suicide pact at the last possible second. I can pray for my children. I can pray for yours.
Will you pray for mine?