After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
"I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” John 17:1-11
We kiss them goodbye and shiver
from the warmth loss from their last embrace
so young and ready to be on their own
so unaware of the constant assaults and cruelties.
We are parents to fine young women
we have earned the silver in our hair
the bend in our backs the crinkles in our eyes
and yet we let them go and start to pray.
We have been mumbling and crying prayers
since they first made manifest within us
now we cry out loud when they are far away
aching for their safety and guardian angels.
When they were small and nestled close
when they swam next to us ever near to shore
when we watch them sleep and prayed
it was constant and easier it was our job.
And now they float toward distant horizons
our task is done and yet never complete
we send them off and thank the Creator
for the gift of their life and for continued safety.