Today’s speakers told stories of heartbreak and fear, but also had a message of hope. We live in troubling times and Priscilla Narcio and Juan Carlos Navarro’s courage – both in the face of their harrowing experiences beginning at such a young age, and in their willingness to  share and be vulnerable with us today – is both moving and inspiring.

Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece West Side Story offers incredible music, poetic lyrics, phenomenal dancing, star-crossed lovers, racial strife, hopeful dreams, ugly prejudice, and violent conflicts that end in the tragic ending of young lives. “Somewhere” is performed by Maria and Tony, who sing of somewhere where their love can blossom in peace, where skin color won’t matter, where peace and humanity live freely. The lyrics however, can be applied to so much more than romantic love…the text below seems to be a prayer for a better future and a passionate call for action to help those who came to this country in the hope that they could secure better lives for their families.

There’s a place for us
Somewhere a place for us
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us somewhere
There’s a time for us
Someday there’ll be a time for us
Time together with time to spare
Time to learn
Time to care
We’ll find a new way of living
We’ll find there’s a way of forgiving
There’s a place for us
A time and a place for us
Hold my hand and we’re half way there
Hold my hand and I’ll take you there

After hearing Priscilla and Juan Carlos, meditation and silence seemed more necessary than ever.  Hearing these brave individuals in their plea, “¿Donde esta el terreno sagrado?”, giving our responses of love and support, and having a moment of reflection to let everything sink in stands for so much of why people come to this fellowship every Sunday. We all live busy and active lives of perpetual motion, and have become so uncomfortable with silence to the point that we squirm, assume something has gone wrong, or try to fill the silence. One example that I see every day is young singers often cutting measures of rests or sustained notes short because they feel the need to move on, to make something be happening instead of silence or sound simply suspending in the air.  We have trained ourselves that silence must be stagnant, wrong, and something that requires a solution. Let us remember what an essential part of the service our moment of silence is, and learn to embrace the absence of sound as peace, a time for reflection, and a spiritual moment we can gift to ourselves, a small pleasure compared to the rest of our busy, noisy lives.