I received the following post from a high school parent on Facebook:
Bekah I think that Williamsville North needs a prayer run
Somewhat “excited” (not the right word) that I had a clear answer of where my next prayer run should take place, I replied asking her to let me know if she had specific requests.
I soon found myself with the news that a North students had decided to take his own life that day. After talking with the mom a little more, I was determined to do a prayer run near Williamsville North in the morning and I did. It was kind of surreal to think that the very situation that prompted the idea for the prayer runs in the first place was now leading me to another high school in the morning only 3 weeks later.
I got to the school about 45 minutes before school and began running. I ran over by the middle school behind the high school too. After about a mile I made my way back to the school. I wanted to just stand/sit and pray as students walked in for the day. I also thought I might see some of our FT students and be able to see how they were doing with the news. I think I saw two of them coming off the bus but I was still a little ways off and couldn’t catch them.
I’m not sure what I was expecting to see as I watched students file into the building today but it wasn’t what I saw. It kind of just seemed like another day at a high school. I wondered how many knew. I saw tears forming in one girl’s eyes as she got out of a car… whether it was due to Jamey’s death or something else, I’ll never know. But for the most part things seemed pretty normal.
The humbling part came a few minutes later when I was near the entrance when the morning announcements were made. After the pledge the student giving the announcments simply said, “I’ll now turn it over to our homeroom teachers who have an announcement for you.” It still sends chills through my body as I type this… right at that moment, the students were hearing the news.
If they didn’t know before, the would now…
there was no escaping it.
As I sat outside, only silence coming from the PA system, the students in classrooms all over the building were receiving the news.
No doubt many of them had probably heard it from each other before they got to the classrooms, but this was confirmation… it was real. And if that wasn’t enough, a voice, most likely an administrator came back on the PA system, “By now you’ve all heard about Jamey’s death…”
As I sat outside covering those students, teachers, and administrators in prayer I could almost sense the air get a little heavy. “We know this is going to be a difficult day…”
I lingered a little longer…
… again, trying to wrap my own mind around the news the students just heard and imagining how they may be reacting. Getting up to leave I passed a few classrooms. Glancing in I could tell they were still talking about it… students facing forward, likely a more captive audience than the teachers had experienced all year.
A humbling way to start the day, “on-site” at the very moment the announcement was made. There may have been less running and more praying on this specific prayer run, but what a privilege to be right there, on my knees asking God, our Father, to hold his children…. pleading that God would use this situation for good somehow, that people would come to know Him and the hope he has to offer… lifting up students who also may be reaching a point of hopelessness… praying …. and still praying… and inviting you to pray…
Emily, Justin, Josh, Jordan, Kaira, and Rotimi… you’re all in my prayers along with your entire school!