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Kayla Craig is a former journalist who brings deep curiosity and a prophetic voice to her writing in her books Every Season Sacred and To Light Their Way and on her popular Instagram account, Liturgies for Parents.

In this episode, Latasha and Kayla share hope and lament. They talk about the beauty and accessibility of liturgies in our faith journeys and the need to engage curiosity in our relationship with God and others. They discuss the importance of being honest about our history and being honest with God. Kayla blesses the Be the Bridge community with readings from her book.

(Note: This conversation was recorded on September 14th, for context for listeners as to why some of the current global conflicts and recent national gun violence tragedies are not named in the laments.)

Join in the conversation on our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn to let us know your thoughts on this episode!

Host & Executive Producer – Latasha Morrison
Senior Producer – Lauren C. Brown
Producer, Editor, & Music – Travon Potts with Integrated Entertainment Studios
Assistant Producer & Transcriber – Sarah Connatser

Quotes:
“I embrace history because it makes us who we are.” -Latasha Morrison

“Kids invite us into curiosity, because we start to unlearn that. When we embrace a posture of curiosity instead of having all the answers, we are drawing nearer to Christ.” -Kayla Craig

“Liturgy is prayers of the people.” -Kayla Craig

“When was Jesus ever comfortable? And why do we yearn for comfort?” -Latasha Morrison

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Resources Mentioned:
Every Season Sacred book by Kayla Craig
To Light Their Way book by Kayla Craig
Liturgies for Parents Podcast
“A Prayer for Dr. Martin Luther King Day”
Ruby Bridges
“A Prayer for Gun Violence in Schools”
With book by Skye Jethani
“A Prayer for Talking about Racism with Children”

Connect with Kayla Craig:
Her Website
Instagram
Liturgies for Parents Instagram
Facebook
Threads

Connect with Be the Bridge:
Our Website
Facebook
Instagram
Threads
Twitter

Connect with Latasha Morrison:
Facebook
Instagram
Threads
Twitter

Not all views expressed in this interview reflect the values and beliefs of Latasha Morrison or the Be the Bridge organization.

Narrator
You are listening to the Be the Bridge Podcast with Latasha Morrison.

Latasha Morrison
[intro] How are you guys doing today? It’s exciting!

Narrator
Each week, Be the Bridge Podcast tackles subjects related to race and culture with the goal of bringing understanding.

Latasha Morrison
[intro] …but I’m going to do it in the spirit of love.

Narrator
We believe understanding can move us toward racial healing, racial equity, and racial unity. Latasha Morrison is the founder of Be the Bridge, which is an organization responding to racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world. This podcast is an extension of our vision to make sure people are no longer conditioned by a racialized society, but grounded in truth. If you have not hit the subscribe button, please do so now. Without further ado, let’s begin today’s podcast. Oh, and stick around for some important information at the end.

Latasha Morrison
Be the Bridge community, as I always say, I have a special treat for you today. And so it’s exciting to have Miss Kayla Craig. She is a former journalist who brings some deep curiosity and care to her writing. She’s the author of a new book that’s coming out. But probably when you hear this, the book has would have already come out. And it’s entitled Every Season Sacred. And this is really the second book. The first book was To Light Their Way. And so some of you may have that. With a poetic and prophetic voice, she created the popular Liturgies for Parents Instagram, that I know many of you follow, which Christianity Today named it an essential parenting resource. She also hosts the Liturgies for Parents Podcast. Kayla’s nuanced and assessable reflections, essays, and prayers are featured in various books, devotionals, and Bible studies. Kayla lives in a 115 year old former convent, we just talked about that, in her Iowa hometown, where she helps to create space to welcome alongside her four children, two dogs, and a pastor husband named Johnny. So she has a lot going on. Now. Wait a minute. Tell us a little bit about the convent that you live in.

Kayla Craig
Yes. Okay. So if you’ve seen Home Alone, you maybe remember that big old brick house, it’s along those vibes. And in the 50s and 60s, the Sisters of Mercy lived here. And they taught at a local school. And yeah, they were just two to a room all throughout the house. And we were able to track down one of the last living sisters and invite her to our home. And she gave us a tour. And she just had so many stories and memories. And it was pretty incredible.

Latasha Morrison
Wow! I was just in Spain in June. And one of the areas that we went, it’s slipping my mind now, but we went to one of the historic areas of Spain, and several of the homes used to be convents there too. And they’ve converted them. Because just you know, they don’t have the people anymore. And so, and then they have a lot of bakeries there, like a lot of bakeries and like little coffee shops. And the nuns locally prepare all the food, you know, special certain pastries that they sell at the bakeries, and it goes back to support the works of the convent. So I mean, it’s just, so I can imagine so much history. You’re living among history.

Kayla Craig
Yes. Yes.

Latasha Morrison
And you found the last living, oh, that is amazing. I love history.

Kayla Craig
I know!

Latasha Morrison
I love history. History helps us know our way. It helps us find our way. And it keeps us, I feel like it’s that key, it keeps us from making the same mistakes. Just think about when we think through our own personal history. How it keeps us from not repeating mistakes. But also the things that we’ve done well, it’s like, okay, how do we build on that? So history also like connects us to growth and so many things. So anyway.

Kayla Craig
I love that. Yes, amen.

Latasha Morrison
So all though there’s some that are scared of history. I embrace history, because it makes us who we are. So I’m so excited about that. But I’m excited about talking with you! I know I just read your bio, and the bio cannot tell us all of who you are. So some of our Be the Bridge community will know who you are and some may not. Just, what did I leave out? Tell me, tell the Be the Bridge community a little bit more about yourself.

Kayla Craig
Oh my goodness, you know, it’s always so like, “What do I say? Where do I begin?” But you know, a lot of these bios always say like what you do, but not necessarily who you are.

Latasha Morrison
Yes. Yes.

Kayla Craig
And I think, you know, some people might see me, I’m an Enneagram eight. And they might be like, “Wow, she’s got all this energy and fire and passion,” but like, my heart is like, so tender, like so soft. (laughter) But I will always, always pick standing alongside somebody who is hurting. And yeah, that’s my hope. When I’m at my best, when I’m my best self that’s kind of who I am. Yeah. And I’m just learning and growing alongside my kids and my neighbors and just really grateful.

Latasha Morrison
And you were introduced to the work of Be the Bridge through IF: Gathering you said.

Kayla Craig
Yes, yes.

Latasha Morrison
What year was this?

Kayla Craig
Oh my gosh, I don’t even know. But it was like two moves ago for us.

Latasha Morrison
Okay, two moves ago. (laughter)

Kayla Craig
We were streaming in our little small town in Iowa. And I was always kind of, you know, my husband’s a pastor. He was a pastor in a pretty small church, and we were always kind of making waves. And I was like, “Are you listening to her? Like this is important!” You probably heard me cheering from Iowa as you were kind of laying out your vision and your heart. So, yeah. Yeah. I’ve been a faithful follower.

Latasha Morrison
Okay, you’re a wave maker! I love that. Wave makers. You hear that Be the Bridge community? We were making waves. You see? And you were riding and you were like, “I’m feeling this wave. I’m feeling this wave!”

Kayla Craig
I’m jumping on. Yeah.

Latasha Morrison
Them waves get bumpy though. Right? (laughter)

Kayla Craig
We need some lifeboats!

Latasha Morrison
They’ll knock you right over. I tell you. These are some intense waves right about now. So, you know, I wanted to talk, I know a lot of people their connection to you is through your Instagram. And you had posted last year about, let me just read it. It was a pretty vulnerable post. But I would love for us to kind of start there. You said, “I work with words. But one of my favorite people, my daughter doesn’t speak or read to communicate. I write about parenting not because it’s the only thing that I think about, but because the vulnerable, complicated gift of growing alongside four kids has deeply formed me, both in how I experience God’s love and how I show up to love others.” And you go on to say, “I don’t write about spirituality and parenting because I have all the answers. But because I have endless questions. And God continues to meet me in the unknowing.” Can you share? That is powerful. That speaks…like, okay, that’s the end of the podcast. (laughter) That’s it! But just can you speak a little bit? Can you share with the listeners about your family, but then also how the questions of curiosity inform our faith and our interaction with others? Like, you know, coming, you know, I think there’s a lot of vulnerability to come to the Bible as a child, not having all the answers, but wanting to long and to know our Savior better with curiosity. And so, just share a little bit about that with us. 

Kayla Craig
Well if you ever spend any time around kids, they have so many questions. You know, toddlers are like, “Why? Why, why?” And teenagers are like, “Why not?” You know, like, they invite us into curiosity, because we start to unlearn that. And I believe that when we’re asking questions, when we embrace a posture of curiosity instead of having all the answers, we are drawing nearer to Christ. And so in the season of life that I’m in, I’m in the thick of raising four kids. And my daughter, Eliza, who I talked about in that post, she has Down syndrome. She had significant seizures when she was little, and that has left her with a lot of cognitive and developmental and physical disability. So she doesn’t use words to speak. She’s not able to, she’s not mobile at this point in her life. And yet, she points me to God in deeper, more beautiful ways. And I have to reckon my views on who I am in the world, what I’m called to be in the world, who God is in the world when I’m with her. You know, like our theology changes. If it’s not true for for her, it’s not true for me. And so she has really taught me so much about just the nature of Jesus. And I have more questions than answers than I did probably five years ago or 10 years ago. But I feel like God has met me in that unknown.

Latasha Morrison
There’s so much. And kids are so honest, too. Like, with their honesty, and, you know, their curiosity. And also, just, sometimes their honesty can be rude.

Kayla Craig
Right, like, “Oh, wow.”

Latasha Morrison
Right. “Wow, you said that. Ok, you said that.” (laughter) So, that’s beautiful. That’s beautiful. Now, we know that your Liturgies for Parents that that is an account, that’s a podcast, but we have a wide variety of listeners, and not everyone is familiar with what liturgies are. And they’re becoming more popular in the church. I know in my book, I included like three liturgies in between the chapters.

Kayla Craig
And there so good. They’re so good.

Latasha Morrison
And, you know, for me, it was something in the Baptist Church, it was, you know, what you call the Missionary Baptist, the Black Baptist Church. They would call them kind of like responsive readings a little bit. You know? But it was something that I experienced not in the churches that I went to, but actually churches that I visited, where it would connect me with God in a deeper way. You know? Just, you know, reciting something. It’s like a form of worship. And so can you share a little bit about what they are and why they are compelling to you?

Kayla Craig
Yeah, yeah. Well, we talked about a little bit about my daughter, but she got really sick when she was three years old. And this virus just overtook her body, and she went from being hospitalized to being put in the intensive care unit, and her body was just so sick. And we were in that kind of liminal space of life and death. And, you know, she was hooked up to so many machines, and it was just beeping and buzzing, and we couldn’t even like, move her hand without all of the numbers just skyrocketing. And it was, it was awful. It was such a hard time of my life. And we had three sons at home, and our daughter in the hospital and my husband and I would take shifts, so she would never be alone. We just didn’t know what was going to happen. And one of those moments when I was home, I checked the mailbox, and there was this little book of prayers. And in that moment, I had something to hold on to. Because you know, people, when you’re going through a hard time, people are like, “Oh, I’m praying for you.” And you’re like, “Does it matter? Does any of this?” You know, like you’re just in the waves. It’s just awful. And it’s so, so hard. And here I was an author, a writer, a journalist, my husband’s a pastor, and I had no more words to pray. None. And so that little book with those little prayers was like an anchor for me. And so by the grace of God, and in so much mystery, she’s okay, she’s still with us. But that moment kind of turned something in my heart that I wanted, I was like, maybe I can put words to things that other people are going through, maybe we can share these prayers, maybe my words can become your words. And, you know, there’s such comfort in knowing that somebody’s prayed this before, whatever it is the beautiful, the lament, the pain, the wonder, whatever it is, somebody’s prayed that; somebody might be praying it right now and somebody might pray in the future. And what a comfort that is to me in those moments when you feel like in this boring, maybe mundane part of my life, am I seen? Or in this suffering, am I seen? And so yeah, I started writing these kinds of just shared prayers. You know? To me liturgy is prayers of the people. Right? Like take them, make them your own. There’s so many different beautiful ways to worship and pray and this is just kind of my feeding of the lake. You know, Madeleine L’Engle was like, “When we write, we just feed the lake.” And this is my feeding of the lake.

Latasha Morrison
I know some people listening, they may say, “Well, Latasha, why do you follow her Instagram? It’s Liturgies for Parents, you’re not a parent.” You know? But this is something where I may not, like physically be a parent, but I have a lot of children and parents in my life. And so, I think it’s important for me, I don’t have to be a parent to want to pray for other parents or teachers or children or you know, any of that. It still applies to us as the body of Christ. And so, for me, it’s something that’s still rich for me. So what would you say to some of the people that are listening, you know, that kind of like, want to put things like this in a box, when you know, where it’s not really traditional, but it’s something that I know I glean from. I have nieces and nephews and godchildren and just friends with children that I love. And, you know, there’s wisdom even being able to, you know, share something with them, that may allow them to cling to hope. There’s, like you said, you know, someone sent you this little book of prayers when you were going through with your child, not knowing, you know, and sometimes we don’t know what to say. Sometimes listening to things like this may give you the words that someone may need during that time of need. So what would you say to that?

Kayla Craig
Well, you know, I say, “for parents,” just because that’s so what I am entrenched in. But so many of, you know, the reflections that I’ve written in Every Season Sacred are really to care for your own soul and acknowledge, you know, where we are, in this point in history right now, and help you stay awake to the pain in our world, and also the beauty and the wonder and holding that attention, that both and, and caring for your soul, so that you can care for others. So that you can live into the person that God has uniquely crafted and formed you to be so that you can live out your values, so that your life is not just a sign in the yard, but that you are actively bringing that connection between contemplation and action. Right? And merging the two into your very, seemingly ordinary, actual lives. So that is my hope. And, you know, I hear from churches, like “We’re adapting your prayers, we’re taking your prayers and making them into something that we’re going to use on a service,” or whatever it is. Because in Every Season Sacred for each week of the year, there’s like, shared prayers. And there’s one that’s made to maybe be prayed. It’s more simpler language, maybe want to pray it with younger people in your life or in developmental stages, that that would be more applicable. But then there’s a shared prayer to pray with anybody, anybody that you’re living life with. And they’re just these short liturgies that kind of follow different themes throughout the year. And my prayer is that those will be accessible and applicable to so many different people whether or not your parent.

Latasha Morrison
Right. Okay, so I love to surprise people. So I want you to choose something in the book that maybe we can read and share, just to give people a little taste of that. But while you’re doing that, you know, one of the other things that you shared. And I think this was in your first book, Light Their Way, is a prayer for Dr. Martin Luther King Day. And in it you say, “We lament the ways we have taken his quotes out of context and ignore the greater picture of his mission and ministry of social change. We walk in the paths Dr. King cleared out for us. And yet we know many weeds still need to be pulled. Help us yank the violence of racism by the root from our hearts and our systems.” First of all, just, I like the word yank. That word just sticks out to me. That’s a good word. “Help us to yank the violence of racism by the root,” you know, when you’re pulling up something by the root, “from our hearts and our systems.” There’s an urgency when I think of the word yank. What have you learned about lament and about naming sin specifically and directly as you’ve written prayers like this and shared them.

Kayla Craig
Yeah, yeah. I started writing To Light Their Way in 2020.

Latasha Morrison
Oh wow.

Kayla Craig
I had the idea for the book in early 2020, and it was like our world is crumbling. And this was before the global pandemic. This was before very needed reckonings as we peeled back our country’s deep seated racism. And then I’m processing through it and almost like praying with the news. So I’m praying, my prayers of lament started much earlier, but I’m just like, hearing the deep cries of lament and of grief and just putting my heart on the page too. And, kind of unfiltered. And I’m like, you know, these are the prayers that I’m praying. And, you know, I just kind of submit all to my publisher. And I’m grateful that they didn’t turn away. Because it will make some people uncomfortable, especially white people. And I was like, this is the way of Jesus. We have to grieve, we have to lament, we have to give it to the Lord. And God’s not scared. God knows. You know what I mean? Yeah, we have to.

Latasha Morrison
Your not pulling anything over his eyes. He knows our hearts, he knows the intentions, he knows how to get underneath. He knows everything. So it’s great when we could just be honest and vulnerable. And, you know, and I think when you say, “the violence of racism.” I think our prayers should be truthful.

Kayla Craig
Yes.

Latasha Morrison
You know? And that is to me, lament is how we cry out to God. And I think it’s just a tool, it’s a part of our formation that I think a lot of us are missing. Because we don’t know how to be honest with ourselves or each other. And, you know, but I think lament allows us to be honest with God. And so I think that’s just really key for us to lean into. And when we look like, half the psalms are about lament. Think about David, I mean, like, it can be depressing. You know? (laughter)

Kayla Craig
Yeah. It’s real. Yeah.

Latasha Morrison
There’s a low book called Lamentations. So like, the fact that we don’t practice that, you know that there’s just some Western cultural lens that inhibits us from really dissecting those portions of the Bible, where we are not afraid to cry out and to lament and to yearn and to mourn and to have deep sorrow. But we want to move on and make it all better. We want the joy in the morning. You know? But I think it’s important. And I think that’s something, you know, especially for King Day, and even with how we do take the words and twist it and change the narrative of everything that he stood for when you read his works and how we shift and change. I’m like, “God forgive us.” How can we do that with a straight face? You know?

Kayla Craig
And it’s like you said, like, our history. We need our real history. That’s so important so that we can heal what needs to be healed and repair and not just put a bandaid over the uncomfortable parts.

Latasha Morrison
Yeah. Because I mean, all of this transformation is uncomfortable. And I always ask this question when I’m teaching or talking or doing whatever. I said, “When was Jesus ever comfortable?” You know? And why do we yearn for comfort?

Kayla Craig
And that’s such a good question for parents. Because so many of us think, well, our whole goal in life is to create comfort, and to create comfort for our children and to decide where we live and where we send our kids to schools and what our jobs are and how we spend our money based solely on comfort. And it’s an important question to peel back the why and does this align when we open up the Scripture, what do we see there?

Latasha Morrison
What is something? Do you have something up?

Kayla Craig
Yeah, yeah.

Latasha Morrison
And share a little bit about your new work that’s coming up. So share a little bit about that. Every Season Sacred. And just read something from it for us.

Kayla Craig
So Every Season Sacred is split up into a kind of weekly mini chapter for each week of the year. So we go through the different seasons, and each kind of one of these chapters has a reflection. And in these reflections, I really tried to bring in other writers, thinkers, theologians, artists, poets, and really get an array of thoughts. This book is not the book of Kayla. Right? This is something that I want to be a resource to guide you, that can be actually applicable to your life, that can bring new ways of thinking about faith. You know, maybe for the people that are feeling weary, that are feeling like, “I just don’t know if I have it in me to go to church after all of the pain that I’ve gone through.” You know? That is so real. And so I want this to be an offering to come alongside and really acknowledge. Acknowledge where people are. And so there’s a reflection. And it kind of follows different themes. And then there’ll be breath prayer, which is just a simple inhale and exhale, for when you just don’t have the margin for anything else. And sometimes, that’s true. And then there’s some scripture references, if that’s a resource to you that you can go and look up that’s kind of along those themes. And then you’ll see some questions. And there open ended questions I kind of pull from my experience as a journalist. We don’t really get a lot out when we just say, “How was your day?” Or “Did you have a good day?” But like, so these questions are for your own reflection, and then to kind of bring in your people, your family, your kids, whoever you’re kind of doing life alongside to have a little bit deeper questions. And they’re kind of pick and choose what works for you. You know the personalities and ages and seasons of life best. And then there’s those two shared prayers. So I was thinking about this conversation, and there’s a reflection in Every Season Sacred called “Learning and Unlearning.” And it is in the winter section. And it’s kind of as we’re reflecting on Black History Month. Right? And so it’s a pretty longer reflection. But I thought I would just share a little bit and then share one of the prayers from that, if that works for you.

Latasha Morrison
Yes, that’s great. I love it.

Kayla Craig
All right. “Raising children where such ugly legacies exist can feel overwhelming and terrifying. But Jesus offers us hope and extends an invitation to align our family’s comings and goings with the incarnational life of Christ, which doesn’t ignore the pain, but instead enters into it. As we do our best to live into rhythms of loving our neighbors as ourselves, stand in solidarity with the marginalized, resist the trappings of evil, push against the lure of power and pursue peace for all, we proclaim the good news with our lives. And when we do so, resisting hatred and clinging to Christ, we help our kids learn about the world, the one who made it and their place in it. As a white mother who loves God, and who wants to share that love with my kids by living in step with Christ, I have to do the deep work of disentangling myself from the often invisible clutches of white supremacy’s grasp. I must wrestle with my privilege, name and repent my racism, and follow Jesus beyond colorblindness and feel good cliches. My kids are watching and listening to what is happening in the world and to what I say or don’t say, what I do or don’t do. Yours are too. And that can feel heavy.”

Kayla Craig
That’s just like a small part of that. But, so the breath prayer is just, and anybody can do this. And it’s just on their inhale pray, “Oh, Lord, your ways are just.” And as you exhale pray, “Your gospel is peace.” And then, one of the prayers, I can pray, if you want.

Latasha Morrison
Go ahead! Go ahead.

Kayla Craig
“Oh, compassionate and merciful Christ. Be with us as we learn about racism and talk about it as a family. Help us to name it for what it is, and keep us from minimizing its legacy. Oh comforter who weeps, help us to sit in a spirit of peace as we wade into these conversations, but help us not to resist our own deep emotions. Help us to embrace our humanity, and in turn, be a family that believes it is right and righteous for all of us to be upset about injustice. Help us to repent of and lament any harm we may have caused. And heal us from the ways we may have benefited or been hurt by oppressive systems that are not of you. Oh, reconciling Christ, who calls us to be peacemakers we pray for true unity rooted in your justice. And in all things, help our family to turn from the worn out ways of the world to the life giving ways of your kingdom. Now and forevermore. Amen.”

AD BREAK

Latasha Morrison
So good. Thank you so much for sharing that. It’s a breath of fresh air. I saw this post, you know, just with a lot of the attacks around history where we’re like, it’s basically we’re choosing as a country to create a space to make some kids feel good and some kids feel uncomfortable, when all of it is uncomfortable. And even talking about it. And there was this picture of Ruby Bridges. Ruby Bridges just turned 69. And if you know the story of Ruby Bridges, she is living history among us. This history is not so long ago. So we’re trying to erase living history, people who are still with us. And it says, “If she was young enough to experience the hate, the violence, the systemic racism, then I think, everyone’s kids are old enough to learn about it.”

Kayla Craig
Yes. Yes.

Latasha Morrison
You know? It’s not like you’re experiencing it. But if learning about it, if we can’t interpret and, you know, it’s not just about saturation. You know, it’s, we don’t want to erase it, but it’s how do we interpret what has happened for our children and explain it to them? And I think this, your book is a tool or resource to help parents have some words to say, “You know, what? God is good. And we’re going to be outliers. We’re going to talk about this.” You know what I’m saying? Teaching your children how to show up. And we do that in any other things, like any other subject. But why do we want to…we have to ask those hard questions on why we don’t feel the same way as it relates to racial history. You know? And specifically when we’re talking about African American history. And so, we have to be honest with that, why we don’t want our kids to know and not sugarcoat that. So I think this is really good to help parents, to have some words, and to have prayer, to really start in prayer. Learning doesn’t take anything from you as a person, but that actually makes you a better person, it makes you a better friend. It makes you a better accomplice. You know? You think about education, so we can go on and on about that. There was something else you wrote that I want to bring up. I’m bringing up all the things that you wrote. (laughter) Okay? And this one, we have so much going on in our society, especially as parents. I mean, there is, parenting is tough work. It’s sacred, it’s is holy, it’s hard, it’s difficult. There’s no perfect work in it. And I was just, I was listening, there was a young man, I think he goes to UNC. They’ve had a couple, I think three or four lockdowns, UNC Chapel Hill this year alone. I think a student shot another, it was a student, but I think it was like an assistant teacher or something. There’s just a lot of violence that’s happening. You know, you turn on the news and you’re like, “Oh my gosh.” And I heard this student was just crying out. There was a classroom at UNC. And it was a large classroom, looked like about 200 kids in this classroom. And he was reading his phone and he was appealing to his congress people to do something. Like this is scary, and they’re tired of this. They shouldn’t have to live like this.

Kayla Craig
No.

Latasha Morrison
And, you know, pleas like this have been mocked, laughed at, I mean, like, where is our heart? Where’s our empathy? Where’s our compassion? It’s lost, and you know, people think that that’s a representation of Christ. And I’m like, “What Christ? What Christ?” And so, you wrote something, and I know, as moms are sending and dads are sending their children off to school this year. We had the incident at Covenant Christian last year, just so many, we can go on and on. Sandy Hook, those parents are still grieving. Although the world has moved on, it’s gotten worse probably since those, you know, 19 children, I think it was, it may have been a little more than that that were gunned down. And a lot of them have formed organizations to bring about change, and they’re still fighting and pushing for change. You know, it’s scary. I just, you know, I think about, you know, I went to a race, a 5k race of my godson this past weekend. You think about these things in the back of your head.

Kayla Craig
Everyday, yeah.

Latasha Morrison
When I go into a place I’m looking at like, “Okay, where are the exits?” You know? This is, you know, and so there’s so much with that. But you wrote “A Prayer for Gun Violence in Schools.” And it’s, you know, when you have those words… And I think, I want, let me see if I can get to it. Let me open the link. Yeah. You said, “A Prayer for Gun Violence in the sSchools.” And “It’s time to share this prayer for a nightmare all over again. The current numbers are 14 children killed and one teacher at a at an elementary school in Texas.” So this is you, Uvalde, I think, “Will you join me in prayer of grief and lament as we cry out against this evil. Today, many of us will flip to a prayer for gun violence in schools on page 84, from the prayers for weary world section of To Light Their Way. I grieve every time that we have to pray this again. I’m sick of praying this.” And then you pray, “Lord, may we see into your upside down Kingdom. Give us courage and boldness to plead the case of our children. Deliver us from the evil one, and may our action for a more peaceable world for our children be a prayer of its own. Lord, hear our prayer.” And you know, and so, and then you say, “We are scared Lord, we even wonder how you can allow mass shootings of our children. We are scared, Lord, we can wonder how you can allow mass shootings of our our children to happen.” And then there’s a whole prayer, you know, for violence in schools that you included. And you know, this is such a good tool, a good resource for parents. Because everybody doesn’t have the words to say, they don’t have the prayers to say. A lot of times when we don’t know or if we don’t understand we don’t say anything. And the thing that I know, if we don’t interpret the world for our children others will, the media will. And so, you know, we don’t want to isolate them. We want to be careful not to saturate them. But what we want to do is interpret. And I think this is such a good tool to have to help interpret. What are some of the things, you know, these are heavy things. These are things that we’re struggling with as a church, as a faith community. You said that you wrote this, you came up with this, at the beginning of 2020. Not even knowing what was around the corner. Isn’t God good? (laughter) You didn’t know! He has a sense of humor or something. It was like preparation, giving you tools. What are some things right now that, what are some things that are bringing you hope right now in the midst of the chaos and the tragedy and all of the things? What are some things just bringing you hope?

Kayla Craig
Yeah. Gosh, that’s such a good question. I always say I’m stubborn in hope. I’m stubborn in it. I’m grasping to it, like white knuckles on the hope. I have to have it. And you know being around children is such a hopeful thing. I’m like, look at the joy that you have. Look at the conversations that we’re able to Have right now and how open you are to it and how tender you are and how empathetic and compassionate and thoughtful and nuanced. I mean, I think so many times we underestimate kids and what they’re thinking and feeling and the beauty that they’re introducing us to. And you know that gives me hope. It gives me hope to see that after years and years and years of physical therapy, my daughter is starting to walk with a walker and seeing what she’s doing now compared to what she was doing a year ago, compared to during COVID when we were zooming with a physical therapist, and I was like, “Is this this pointless?” And all of that. And then you see it. And you don’t see that change in front of you. You have to look back and say, “Okay, things things have changed a little bit. And that gives me hope.” It gives me hope that I know all of my neighbors in this vicinity. You know, we moved during COVID, during a pandemic, in a blizzard. And we didn’t know anybody. It was wild. Yeah, and we felt like, “Okay, God is bringing us here. It doesn’t make any sense.” And yet now, I know all of my neighbors, and seeing the work that they’re doing in the world and how they’re showing up and how, you know, we’re journeying together, it’s such a gift. And that gives me hope to hold on for another day. Yeah.

Latasha Morrison
That’s good. Yeah, that’s good. What are some things that you are, you know, like, we, a part of the culture in our Be the Bridge community is having a healthy understanding of lament. And so, you know, we can have hope and lament. So we can be hopeful, we can be joyful, but we can also be lamenting, all at the same time. You know? We can be grieving, but hopeful. Those things can coexist together. What are some things that you are lamenting?

Kayla Craig
Yeah, oh, my gosh.

Latasha Morrison
I know, right. We don’t even have time.

Kayla Craig
How long can we go? I’m lamenting so many things that my kids are inheriting. You know what I mean? And it scares me for them. It scares me that, you know, In Every Season Sacred, I talk about my son being at the library and seeing a newspaper headline about kids, you know, this is awful, but having to play dead not to get shot. And, you know, my son is Black. And every day we talk about what it’s going to be like when when he learns how to drive and the conversation that he’s going to have to have. I lament that that is the world that we live in. I lament that my kids school is underfunded. I lament that we live in a culture that doesn’t honor the dignity of all people, whether that is the BIPOC community or women or disabled people. There’s so much lament. I lament in the ways that I have been part of it. You know? And that’s real. It’s not just a systemic issue, but it’s real in my heart and in my life. And so there is, there’s so much lament. And that’s why I often pray, like, “I believe, help me in my unbelief.”

Latasha Morrison
I believe, help me in my belief. I think, like, I tell you, it’s…I’m processing this book called With that I have to read in seminary. And it’s talking about living with God, not living above God, not living underneath God, but with God, and our communion with God. And it’s like, I’m gonna talk a little bit more about it later. But when you were saying that it just made me think of the holistic approach to our faith, and what that looks like, the transformation of heart, you know, allowing the knowledge of God to transform our hearts. And I think there’s a deficit of that. Some people I wouldn’t know, they know a lot about God, but they’re not living into God. You know? And so that’s the, you know, there’s so much to lament. And I think it’s good. I think it’s healthy for us to take those lament and petition God, to cry out to God. I mean, we see this in Scripture like from the prophets, we see, you know this from the disciples, you see this, and everybody especially that was in leadership that didn’t know the way, that didn’t have the answers, knowing that God is the source of our strength and our answers. So it shows us the frailty of our humanity and the strength of God and that we’re dependent. So, I’m so grateful for you, for the work, your work for the words that you’re helping people to articulate. What is your hope for your new book? What is the hope for Every Season Sacred, what is the hope that you have for that book?

Kayla Craig
I think it’s that it would be a guide, it’s not a how to, but that it would be a handhold for you and whatever stage of life you’re in. If you’re more cynical, if you’re more hopeful, whatever it is your kind of journeying through that it would help you stay awake to the pain and to the beauty. And that you can journey through and see God in all of it and that you could count every season sacred, even if, even when, even now.

Latasha Morrison
Yeah. For parents and sisters and family members that are listening now, what is one encouragement that you would give them in this very complex season of life that I think we’re all experiencing globally? You know, I think about sometimes we think so much in the Western American context, but, you know, today holding space for the families in Libya through the flooding, the earthquake in Morocco, the fires, you know, Hawaii is a state, but, you know, just the fires in Hawaii, you know, the cous just the things that are happening in some of the African countries, you know, as it relates to policy and leadership, and just all the brokenness just across the world, like, you know, holding space for all of that. What is some encouragement that you would give to those listening?

Kayla Craig
I think, you know, when I go back to so much that I find encouraging, and that I hope is encouraging for others, is that that we have a God who is with us. Immanuel, God with us. And the power and the strength and the justice in who our God is, that God will not leave us, that God will not forsake us. But there is so much power that God can be with me and with you and across the world. And God doesn’t turn his back. God is with. And there’s so much power and hope in that.

Latasha Morrison
Yeah, yeah, that’s a good word. God that is with. I think I’m like, that’s so good. I think maybe we can close out like in a benediction of sort. There’s one you shared, “A Prayer for Talking about Racism with Children.” And maybe, you know, if you have that one up the Be the Bridge community can listen to these words spoken over us and whether you are caretakers of children in your home or in some other way in your church or your community, let this benediction guide your words and actions this week. So, I’ll let Kayla close us out.

Kayla Craig
“May the author of our faith make your speech about the scourge of racism clear and honest, giving you specific and direct language, rooting your words in history and truth. May the Lord help you embrace your humanity, and in turn, show your children that it’s right and righteous for all of us to be upset about injustice. That it’s right and holy and of Christ to make marginalized voices heard. As you talk with your children about racism, may our compassionate and merciful Christ help you and guide you as you help and guide your family. And may all your life, your fantastic, dirty, messy, holy life, be a prayer.

Latasha Morrison
Amen. Thank you so much for the work that you’re doing, and how the Lord is using you to guide his people in the simplest ways. These are all like, simple but heart wrenching. You know? And it’s like, it’s kind of like it punches you, it’s one of those things that people describe like in how I write, where it’s like, it punches you in the face but it also massages you on the back at the same time. You know? And you’re like, I should be upset, but I don’t know what to feel, but I feel God’s love. (laughter) And I think that’s a gift to be able to do that. And you do that well. You know, where it’s like, “may all your life, your fantastic, dirty, messy, holy life, be a prayer.” Like, whew.

Kayla Craig
I love hearing you say that, because that’s how I end all my benedictions and it’s in both of my books. And so to hear you, Latasha Morrison say it, I’m like, “Yes, amen!”

Latasha Morrison
I love it. Well, thank you for your work. You know, the book, again is called Every Season Sacred. And then the first book is entitled To Light Their Way. So Kayla, thank you so much for your words, for your prayer, for your faithfulness to God, you know, praying for your children in Iowa, and all the things that God is placing your heart to do there. So I’m so grateful for you. I would say that the world is better with you in it. So thank you so much for joining us here on the Be the Bridge and Be the Bridge community. So bridgers I know your day is richer after listening to this. So thank you so much.

Narrator
Thanks for listening to the Be the Bridge Podcast. To find out more about the Be the Bridge organization and or to become a bridge builder in your community, go to bethebridge.com Again, that’s bethebridge.com. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, remember to rate and review it on this platform and share it with as many people as you possibly can. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Today’s show was edited, recorded, and produced by Travon Potts at Integrated Entertainment Studios in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. The host and executive producer is Latasha Morrison. Lauren C. Brown is the Senior Producer. And transcribed by Sarah Connatser. Please join us next time. This has been a Be the Bridge production.