One year ago, teenagers and teachers were senselessly shot and killed during their school day in Parkland, Florida. The news was filled with the young faces and stories of heroic students and teachers. I was shocked and sickened; I shared in the sorrow of these families. Afterwards, the teens began to talk with other teens across the country (#neveragain) and to share their experience. They marched and carried signs with the inscription, Am I Next, and begged for gun control laws.  Meanwhile, the adult politicians in charge of the social order were sacralizing the second amendment, decrying the youth of the shooter, bemoaning the mystery of mental illness, criticizing the armed deputy who remained outside – calling him coward, and desiring to restrict assault rifles to those over age 21.

But the Drama Club at the Stoneman Douglas High School was writing and performing a song called Shine with words of determination, hope, possibilities, and unity. They sang, you may have brought the dark but together we will shine a light … we will be something special, we will shine … together we have the power to change the world around usListen as they sing and see in your mind’s eye these young men and these young women. Through them, we are seeing this tragedy with God’s eyes, who is claiming them as beloved sons and daughters.

The teens speak a wise, demanding message, their eyes are opened. These teen citizens of this country are seeing other possibilities. They are singing, we can hug a little tighter, we can love a little more. Truly, they do shine and it is time for the rest of us to recognize and celebrate their response as a gospel message for today.

365 days, young strong voices, a clear demanding message for gun control – have we listened?  The Dominican Center supports sensible and safe legislation for gun control