A Prayer for the Floor

God, who finds us where we are,
we find ourselves again beneath the kitchen table.
On the floor
is where so many things end up, God.
Toys dropped, crumbs scattered.
Shoes thrown, books smashed.
Jackets that will not zip, heaved across the room,
Juice flung in one mighty wave of frustration.
Because finding our words is tough.
And regulating our feelings is not as easy of a reach
as grabbing the nearest cup
and watching it smash
on the floor.
We kneel down, when the calm returns, and wipe it up together.
Side by side, in a ritual of putting things right.

May we see this space as holy ground, so that when we end up
on the floor
where the work of play happens,
Where the trains go round, where we crawl and build,
Where the grounding practices and the calming strategies bring us back
to ourselves, we can breathe and trust in your strength.
May we remember how trauma can snatch us from a happy moment to a past pain in an instant.
We sit, read, cuddle, and let our tears fall
Side by side, feeling safe enough to scream and
look in someone’s eyes.

On the floor
is of course where we find you, too.
Overwhelmed with the patterns of parenting children through their trauma,
Knowing that screams and kicks and endless asks are simply a communication, a reach.
We crumple on the floor.
Seated cross legged, arms folded, heart unfolding,
and letting out one long breath
That you can hear.
And then one more. Breathing, to remember.
That there, on that bedrock for exhausted souls,
that firm floor that catches every stomp and splatter, is room
to breathe.
To let the tears of grief and gratitude fall,
to be still,
to be known and made whole
and stand again.

This post originally appeared in Fostering Hope: A Prayer Book for Foster and Adoptive Families, edited by Robert W. Lee.

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