Power of Prayer on the Playground

The phone call from the principal confused and distressed me.  This was not the son predisposed for fighting.  I walked in to the school office and put my arms around the little boy staring off into space, eyes rimmed in red.  He immediately started sobbing, “The ambulance, Mom.”

“Honey, did you kick someone on the playground?”

He sniffed and nodded, “but the ambulance.”

The disconnect made me pause.  “Ambulance?”

“An ambulance went by the playground during kickball.  I stopped to send positive energy so the workers could do their job and the hurt person wouldn’t be scared. And Charlie said he was going to send bad energy so they’d all die…”  He choked back a sob.  “I kicked him so he’d stop.”  Then he looked at me eyes wide and whispered, “Mommy, what if they all died?”

The depth of the moment washed over me as I put the pieces together.  We’ve always taught our children that’s it’s not okay to hurt someone.  But here my son thought someone was trying to kill another person with no time to lose. So he did the best he could with a swift kick to the crotch. Once the other boy was rolling around on the ground clutching himself, Charlie could spare no energy to direct hatred toward the ambulance.  My son went back to praying trying to erase any damage done from the few waves of negative energy cast the way of the ambulance.

And so the playground monitor came upon the strange scene of Charlie howling on the asphalt and my son with his head bowed, eyes scrunched shut, whispering prayers like life depended upon it.  No matter how many times the monitor asked my son what happened, urging him to own up to the violation, nothing would break his prayerful concentration. And his is how I found him in the office.

I took a deep breath, “Honey, I have to believe that in this world, our positive prayers overpower hurtful and misdirected energy.”

He looked up at me open to this big life lesson before us.

“The person in the ambulance will be at the hospital now. Do you want to send them positive energy?”  He nodded wildly and closed his eyes in expectation.

“Do you want to say the words, or shall I?”

He opened one eye and pointed to me.

“Spirit of Life, known by many names, please be with the doctors in the hospital that they may do their job needed to bring healing to their patients.  Give them clarity and patience.  Please be with those sick and scared that they may be comforted and have courage. May the healing power of love move throughout the halls of the hospital so that good medicine may do its work.  And please be with Charlie so his private parts and heart mend just fine.  Please be with Sagan and Charlie that they may find understanding and friendship. Amen.”

With the amen, my son through his arms around me and nuzzled into me. I carried him out and took him home.

I have to believe that the positives overpower the negatives in life.  And sending positive energy to ambulances makes a difference. Otherwise my grandmother would not have told me so.

6 thoughts on “Power of Prayer on the Playground

  1. I used to say a prayer every time I heard or saw an ambulance…I’m going to reinstate this practice ASAP. Thanks for a very powerful story!

  2. I don’t agree. It’s actually your primary obligation, on a team, to help your teammates by your participation in the game. What you might imagine about an ambulance passenger may not be true. This little boy was imagining a dire situation (which is not always true of ambulance passengers) and he was very much afraid for his “imagined sick person,” while neglecting to take care of business that was really in front of him. If he needs to stop and pray, he should find a way to leave the game to do so. Sending positive energy in prayer sounds nice but it’s not necessarily a good thing under the circumstances. And the way it led his reaction to the teasing, mean remark of his teammate….ouch! I think this sensitive boy is confused and the ideology driving him is not going to work out…. Feeling superior to his peers is not really a great way to grow up. I know, I know, lots of kids feel “different” & have a difficult time. But what are the parents doing that exacerbates the situation for this boy and that can help him understand his peers and their teasing better? If you look into the 2007 book, “The Fiction of a Thinkable World,” by Michael Steinberg, and its explanation of stoicism in Greek and Roman civilization, the “civic culture” and religion was, you owe your fellow (and sister) humans FIRST and any god or gods, second. (Incidentally, you would not really develop capitalism under a true civic culture where humans are first and religion is a way to show respect for something awesome but your primary relation is to men & women not to anything supernatural.) Anyway, I question loading up kids with too much supernatural belief whether “new age” or not.

  3. Update. The child in the story is his district’s Youth Chaplain at conference and just served as the GA Youth Caucus Chaplain.

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