Weekly Message from T. J.

When Words Fail

As I sit here in the airport, I can’t miss it. Families are everywhere. They are watching bags for each other while taking trips to the kiosks and water fountains. They are checking around them as they get up to board their flights to see if any family member left a toy or a personal electronic device behind. One child sitting next to me gently laid his head on his mom’s shoulder, in the universal gesture of “I’m tired. Comfort me.”

It’s hard to describe, but today the conditioned air, cool and frigid, feels somehow icier. The prepackaged food seems less appealing than usual. And it’s hard to get at all comfortable, even though I’m tired and wish I could sleep. There is no mystery why I’m feeling this way, why I suspect many of us are feeling terrible right now.

I say often that laughter and tears are what we have for times when speech is no longer sufficient. As laughable as much of what this administration does may be, no one is laughing now—at least no one with any sense of decency. Rather, many of us, like Rachel Maddow during her broadcast (watch here), have seen their pain over this administration’s treatment of babies—babies—rendered in tears. And this is only fitting in light of reports that there are rooms filling steadily with children crying and inconsolable near our nation’s borders.

Words fail us at times like these, and perhaps they should. The images from child jails erected and operating on the soil of a nation founded in liberty and dedicated to the pursuit of happiness are horrifying. The sense that the racist and abhorrent system of mass incarceration, designed and executed to disenfranchise and dehumanize so many citizens of color in this nation, is now stretching its sickening hand to hold the most vulnerable among us defies explanation, defies decency, defies the core of what most considered inalienable human rights…until now.

Because words fail us at these times…action may be the wiser course. I don’t mind saying that I am closer to outright insurrection against a sitting government than I have ever been in my life. That is not hyperbole. There is a part of me here in this airport considering changing my flight to one bound for Texas and holding vigil, witnessing on behalf of these traumatized babies. But this evening, a building coalition plans to protest these actions during this event: Wednesday, June 20 ICE Protest. That might be a start for some of us.

I do not know what future actions may become necessary to combat what is patently wrong, what is intentionally vicious to children. But as the cries rise up from these places that house so much horror, I hope, I pray, more than I might ever have before, that all of the words and bluster that led to these crimes will give way to the overpowering, universal force that draws us each to give peace, to give comfort to those who suffer.

And may it ever be so.

Rev. T. J.

One Response to “Weekly Message from T. J.

  1. Thank you, TJ. You put into words my deep concern for our country’s moral center, my outrage at Trump’s cruel policy, and heartbreak for these children. My meager action – ineffectual as it may be: Posted comment to White House. Called Fox News to ask them to influence Trump (he listens to them and they gin up the immigration fears of his base): 1-888-369-4762

Comments are closed.