With last week being Resurrection week, I have been thinking a lot about sacrifice. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son… (John 3:16). This was an ultimate sacrifice, which has made me think a lot about parenting and the sacrifices big and small that parents make for their children. The ones that they don’t even think about as it’s just a natural part of being a parent that is so inextricably linked to the love for one’s child/children. I have also been thinking about sacrifices not made that fill us with pain or guilt that doesn’t go away even over many years. And, I’ve been thinking about the post that I have also just finished about parenting… it’s partially a letter to my youngest daughter.
On Friday, the end of the week of sacrifice, I see the cover of Time with the Parkland, Fla., students and March for Our Lives organizers Jaclyn Corin, Alex Wind, Emma González, Cameron Kasky, and David Hogg. Again, I thought about sacrifice, but not their sacrifice as I believe that there are times when people emerge as heroes, leaders, the voice or conscience of a nation and it is their destiny. I know this to be true for the extraordinary, passionate, determined and eloquent young people from Parkland. I have actually been thinking about their parents and the sacrifice that they are making to free their children to lead this fight.
And sadly, a fight it is. Of nearly a dozen posts, this will be my 3rd related to gun violence. I have tried to honor those slain, celebrate the heroes that emerge and understand the troubled shooters. But, I too like so many am angered that this issue has become such a polarizing one that we don’t make progress that would seem so certain especially after tragedies like Sandy Hook five years ago.
These young people have been thrust in the middle of a storm. Their parents had that gut-wrenching worry on February 14th not knowing if their child was safe and now they make the sacrifice to have their child carry the flag and be in the forefront on such a violent and contentious issue in our country. I hope that through their strength there will be change. The young people are leading in remembrance of the 17 that lost their lives that day and for all of those lost to gun violence. They are the force to help this not happen again or to at least significantly lessen the frequency…. They are being their brother’s keeper.
My daughter Bridget participated in the March For Our Lives. She shared with me a poem that she wrote, which I too am sharing with you.
Until next time,
I wish I’d asked your name
Your bright green sign spoke to me
Like a personal hello, a handshake, a hug
A brief one on one connection
Amongst the sea of people
The image of the young black boy
The same boy, possibly a second
An infant in your embrace, marred
Like a photographer’s mastery of depth of field
Your face much younger
Your hair less grey
You’ve been marching a long time
Stops and starts
Amongst the thousands