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Standing with the Students

Standing with the students today:

You are There

I couldn't help myself- I washed your t-shirts again today hoping that maybe your blue jersey would appear in the dryer as I pulled the others out, but part of my heart knows it will never be held by me again- it will be held by investigators gathering evidence against the kid from your history class who looked you in the eye as he shot from the front of the room after hitting your teacher first- it will sit in a bag in an evidence room out of sight of most and will be forgotten by everyone but me because I saw you in it as I hugged you after breakfast on what was your last day and I told you to get your homework done in study hall so you could help me paint the upstairs bathroom after school and you joked about the color I chose as you headed out with a promise to be back, but the hurt and anger of another made you break that promise, and you never came home again. And I watch your little brother struggle to sleep every night and cry out when he awakes with the fear of the shooter being in his room and your little cousin brought the Thor hammer you gave him to your funeral and cried because you promised to watch the Marvel movies with him when he was old enough… old enough…I ask what is old enough to understand this pain we are creating out of our own selfish desires to have what we claim as our rights and to declare that we would rather have power than work towards a peace and to use faith to claim that we are right and justified as we claim our own might… old enough…who's old enough to say enough, to say that this war over rights has got to end and weapons must be kept out of the hands of all who intend to hurt… and who's old enough to march and to reach across racial barriers and hear voices of all who have lost someone as I lost you…you, who would have walked out of class with your peers because you would have been old enough to understand that hate must end and fear must be faced and faith must be redefined and voices must be lifted for all who have been too young to die… you are there among the young who raise voices now for you and for all who lost life before we stood together and yelled enough… and I will fold your shirts and cry and stand with your brother as he learns to find his courage to say enough…

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