Tuesday’s child is full of grace.” For the next four months I am sharing sections from the new book — A Child Laughs — Prayers of Justice and Hope (edited by Maria Mankin and Maren C. Tirabassi) Pilgrim Press, May 1, 2017.
In addition to fifty-three short chapters that respond to particular issues, a final chapter simply shares single prayers written by contributors. Elaine writes one of the most poignant prayers needed by children.
Elaine writes this of herself. Life-long learner, teacher, pastoral counselor/spiritual director, and ordained minister, Elaine S. Gaetani has long been called to help co-create a more just, loving, safe, and hopeful environment for children of all ages. It is her experience that this starts with faith, love and God’s grace.
TO TEST OR TO EDUCATE: THAT IS THE QUESTION
by Elaine S. Gaetani
Gracious God, am I good enough? Will I cut muster, make the grade, pass the test, show my worth? If I flunk this test, which makes me so nervous and squirm in my seat, will I still be able to stay with my friends in my class? Will I be labeled, left out, left behind? What will my parents say? Will you still love me?
I am confused, my God and my Friend, because I have come to know You, as a God of creativity, spontaneity, curiosity, experimentation, and faith in all the different kinds of cleverness in the human spirit.
Is there a standardized test for that? Will they ever know my true gifts and talents?
God, be with me now, as I sharpen my pencil, gulp down the lump in my throat, and calm the knot in my belly. Help me to remember to never stop learning even though I hate the testing. Show me again and again, Brilliant God, that Love can’t be measured, creativity can’t be harnessed, and the human spirit is far too great to test with any human educational stan- dards.
Let them not break my spirit, Your spirit in me. Amen