Weekly Message from T. J.

On a Jetplane

“All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…”

I remember when those words were sung to me for the first time. My mother’s cousin David was playing his guitar and singing along in my great grandfather’s living room. I remember not wanting the music to stop. I remember a feeling flooding in that told me what was happening in that moment was magical. Yet I remember not doing much of anything except sitting there on the piano bench, listening.

I think we all know, and I think we’ve all heard a lot about what approaches this coming Saturday. Children from across this nation will rally to give voice to their hopes and their demands for their own safety. Our own church will support the gathering in Ala Moana Park this Saturday. This is a gathering organized by young people and being led by young people. And it could not be coming soon enough.

We can all read the quote from an eighth grader involved in the Maryland shooting earlier this week: “What’s happening with Parkland and all that, I just expect it to happen.”[1] In a world where children expect lethal violence in schools, where drills are conducted now to address the threat of an active shooter, where fear stalks the hallways that should be filled with laughter, it is indeed time for change.

The world this week tilts back again to draw forth the lengthening days and the shortening nights in, perhaps, the hope of shedding yet more light on the lengthening lines of children stretching round the streets of an aching nation and demanding change. But many of us might be asking, what do we do?

Responses to that question are as varied and as vital as is our shared human family. Some might feel compelled simply to show up here locally, and others might feel compelled to pack some bags. From the outside, responses might look different. But one thing should be absolutely clear. Whether this Saturday, or whether in the future stretching out before us together, we might do well to accept at times like this the spiritual gift of being called on less to do anything, and more to make sure others have the chance to do what they need to do.

There are times in our lives, I promise you, when all we need to do to be sure that the feelings of hope do not stop, when all we need to do to feel the flood of the magical in and around us, when all we need to do to feel these things…is to listen closely to the song of someone we love. My deepest, surest hope rests in the voices and the minds of a generation coming of age, being accompanied, held, and heard by a generation that gave them the very lives they are marching to save.

Many blessings on this challenging weekend.


T. J.

[1] Elamin Abdelmahmoud, “Morning Update: ‘What’s Happening With Parkland…I Just Expect It To Happen,’” BuzzFeedNEWS, March 21.

2 Responses to “Weekly Message from T. J.

  1. Have a safe trip which will hold so much meaning, T.J. We will all be with you in spirit while you are marching in our nation’s Capitol, and know you will be with us at Ala Moana Park in spirit.

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