I have a dear friend here in Oklahoma City that found herself crouching under a table in the infamous library of Columbine High School almost 8 years ago to this day. She’s a survivor. She now travels around the country all year long speaking to students about school violence. She is an inspiration to me and to thousands and thousands of others, and she is hurting today because of the hauntingly familiar newscasts and stories of survival that have forced her to look and to remember.
I can’t imagine. I can’t fathom. Instant terror and thoughts of family rushing through your mind as the desk you were casually resting your elbow on only moments before suddenly becomes a barricade that you beg to somehow absorb you- somehow make you disappear…
Stop right now to pray for the families across the country that are grieving. Pray that God would be near. Pray for the students of Columbine who are reliving the horror and feelings of helplessness all over again. Pray for my friend Crystal and her husband Pete as they grapple with new and old pain.
Today has been somber. Drizzling rain and inadvertantly dressing in black. I’m feeling sad, so I decided it would be good to get out of the house and take Ezra to the mall for storytime and a bite to eat.
Right as we were leaving the mall, we heard a sudden cry and I looked up the escalator to see an elderly woman laying on the sharp metal steps- the steps were still moving upward, and she appeared to be unconcious. There was a lot of blood on her head and her legs and the escalator itself. People rushed to stop the machine and assist her as the fire truck and ambulance pulled up within moments. She had lost her balance and fallen backwards.
As the people gathered and gasped and asked eachother questions while the woman was being carefully treated on the stopped escalator, I couldn’t help but think that this world is a really scary place. I couldn’t pull myself away from watching the woman’s barely concious face and her twisted body and I felt achingly helpless again like I had all day yesterday while the news slowly poured in. I wanted to rush up and throw my arms around her and cry. I wanted to lift her off of the harsh metal steps and lay her down on a bed of soft pillows. I wanted to tell her everything would be alright.
But, instead, I had to wait and trust that she was in good hands. It was all I could do for her. I had to stand at the bottom of the stairs and feel helpless. There was nothing I could say. Ezra wiggled in my arms and gasped and laughed as the firetruck and the ambulance sat just outside the door with their bright lights flashing.
It started to rain again as we walked slowly back to the car- me hugging Ezra tighter than usual and whispering deep ‘I love you’s’ into his perfect little ear.