Holiness in our Midst: Session 67


Holiness in our Midst


What signs of hope for peace on earth do you see these days?

My friends and I have been tossing around this question, finding more examples of a world divided (and waxing eloquently about them) than one united. But on Sat., March 25, 2018, I was imbued with hope by three young women speakers at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. Organized by survivors of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, the event created a platform for Emma Gonzalez, Naomi Wadler, and Yolanda King.

  • Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the shooting, embodied the power of silence as tears streamed down her face. She stood for six minutes and 20 seconds, the time it took for the shooter to kill 17 and wound 15 students and teachers. She listed some of the events and interactions that would never happen again in the lives of the fallen before she stood silently before the crowd. Her final message: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
  • Naomi Wadler, 11, a fifth-grader from Alexandria, VA, said: “I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper. I represent the African American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential. For far too long, these names, these black girls and women, have been just numbers.” Wadler ended, “I’m here to say, ‘Never again’ for those girls, too.” Black women are disproportionately represented among the victims of gun violence. She helped organized a walkout at her elementary school on March 14 to protest gun violence. She emphasized that she was not a tool of any organization, but rather represented herself and her own viewpoint.
  • Yolanda King, 9, the granddaughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, joined Jaclyn Corin, junior class president at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, onstage after her talk. In the surprise appearance, King said: “I have a dream that enough is enough, and that this should be a gun-free world,” She closed by asking the crowd to repeat the words: “Spread the word! Have you heard? All across the nation, we are going to be a great generation!”

Though media attention was paid to these particular speakers and the rally itself for only a short news cycle, the event gave me a fresh vision for a better world. My take-home question: Where can I add my voice to larger issues with as much fearlessness as these young leaders exhibited?

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: What signs of hope for peace on earth are you seeing?


  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. Write about your deepest reaction to current political events in your journal, using the Story Circle Prompt.


  1.   Read aloud Session LXVII.  
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

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