Paris, Pas Seulement: Not Only Paris

Michelle Riddell Relationships

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Pray for Paris, they ask us. Pray for the unsuspecting innocents whose lives were taken or ruined or marred by the most recent terrorist attack. So I do. I add them to the list of Syrian refugees and plane crash victims and Nigerian girls and their families, all of whom have suffered abominations beyond my limited world view. They need our prayers now and for months to come, but what about the others?

What about the milder violence, the tragedies in the making, the smaller-scale sorrows? What about those without a public voice or GoFundMe accounts linked to their websites or Facebook flags flying in solidarity? What about those who don’t even know a better life exists? What about the children whose only goals in life are to stay out of the way? There’s room in our prayers for them too; let us not forget those who don’t make the news.

I’ll pray for the girl whose mom doesn’t come to the class parties at school because she’s in prison.

For the boy who is living with his fifth foster family and misses his fourth.

For all the kids who forget their library books, their show-and-tells, and their field trip money.

I will pray for the mom who hates how she looks, so she never smiles.

For the dad who dreads his job and leaves for work in a terrible mood.

For the families who won’t ever be able to vacation at Disneyworld.

And I’ll pray for the school that can’t afford a new boiler.

Or an art teacher. Or textbooks.

For the town whose favorite restaurant burns down.

I’ll pray for the boy who will never be Student of the Month but still hopes he is chosen, and when he’s not, acts like he doesn’t care.

I’ll make a place in my heart for those who get picked last in gym class and whose artwork has never been displayed on the fridge.

I’ll bow my head for the girl who plays alone every recess.

I’ll pray for my neighbor who just lost her husband and doesn’t quite know what to do with herself.

I’ll pray for the parents who forget to be the tooth fairy because they’re arguing late into the night.

I’ll pray for the kids who’ve never seen a dentist or had their very own pair of brand new shoes.

I’ll pray for all the mothers when their children are unlovable, when they don’t have the answers and are too tired to care.

I’ll pray that we find the courage to reach out even though we’re afraid.

I’ll pray for grace when I feel I’ll never be enough.

I dedicate all my blessings to my father, and I pray for him in his fight with leukemia.


About the Author

Michelle Riddell

Michelle Riddell lives with her husband, daughter, and poodles in rural mid-Michigan where traffic stops for turtles, tractors, and threshers. She is a free-lance writer and an editor at Mothers Always Write. She substitute teaches at the local elementary school and is continually surprised by how much she loves it.

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