I see you Parkland. I deep feel your loss woke with full throated cries for justice. You grieve, you march, you speak truth to power, and cry white hot tears into your pillow at night for the horror of your reality. I know that the fight is your life raft, carrying you out into the ocean of mourning but buoying you with purpose and calling. While you attend funerals, sing the hymns of goodbye and breathe in the sacred writ of hope, your heart beats and from the ashes you rise.
I know there are moments, there are sleepless nights and 4 am struggles right now unseen to the world as we watch you lead, fierce and fiery the upward fight. I know you search in the darkness for answers to the questions of senseless slaughter and innocence lost and the sound of shells ricocheting off the walls. I know you jolt awake to the alarm and you wonder if it was all a dream and your body has to feel anew the reality that is life after massacre.
I wanted to say, we are here, with you and for you. We are cheering you on from our living rooms and praying for you at altars and signing up to march with you in the coming days. We are awed by your strength and convicted by your courage and we are locking arms with you as you show us all a new way forward. We post #neveragain and we watch you from a far, we write checks and we bless your tireless work and we know the power of surviving and the passion of leading through. You are brave and you are a blessing and we will never be the same again.
But when it’s quiet, and when you feel lost, when you remember you are a child and your leaders have failed you, your communities are broken and know full well you are not safe; know we are holding space for you. We know you are warriors and we know you are children and everyone needs a soft place to land where we can be vulnerable, where our fear can be spoken and where we are held. We stretch out our arms and embrace you, hold you close to our chest and rock you back and forth, stroking your hair we whisper, “you are not alone.” Your home is the kingdom of peace where we work for justice and you are welcome here.
We remind you what is true, life is hard but God is with us. We sing the truth over you, “love is stronger than the grave” (Song of Solomon 8.6). We remind you that you remain as carriers of the stories, witnesses to the goodness of those who have been lost and you now live carrying them in your heart even as they spur you on from the great cloud above (Hebrews 12.1). We whisper you are loved and we tell you we are so sorry and we hold on to one another and make it through. You are heroes and you are babies and you are ours.