The energy coming through the screen is palpable. The voices will not be silenced. The teenagers’ message is clear, “We will not stop until we have action.”
I think of Jesus who said, Let the children come to me, do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs. Luke 18:16a
Are we listening to the longings of these children? They aren’t asking for fancy computers and phones, they are longing to be safe. They are longing for common sense action from the adults around them.
I think of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem as he said, …If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace. Luke 19: 42:a
They are trying to remind us what makes for peace and what can silence their longing for safely.
Of course, they simply want their lives back, too.
They are longing to have their teachers back.
They are longing to have their friends back.
They are longing to prepare for tests and think about graduation and prom and baseball games.
But right now, they are desperately longing to be heard. For until they are, the laughter and joy of their teenage lives cannot return. Even when it returns, it will be forever changed.
Do we long with them? Be still and listen to the longings of these students.
It really doesn’t matter where we stand politically, what is at stake is far beyond any political party or issue.
Can we see the tears of Jesus as he wept over Jerusalem and still weeps for the children and for all of us, longing and begging for us to recognize what makes for peace?
These children are trying to save us. Can we hear them?
Rev. Jolene Bergstrom Carlson