Using your words is a gift, but it’s also a burden.
And sometimes, when I wrestle with words, the words win.
I wrote a post the day after Oregon about something I have been wrestling since I experienced a mass shooting while living in Grand Rapids. I say “experienced” because I didn’t really survive it; at no point was my life directly threatened, by the baffling grace and incomprehensible understanding of our God. It took over four years for words I have been thinking since that July to come to public fruition, and they were words that I could not keep silent after I watched the shooting in Oregon dominated my Twitter timeline.
I was going to save this post for November, save it for when the grief of Oregon was not so fresh, keep it out of the 31 Days mix. But instead, it is over on The Rising today, and I’d love if you’d join me over there. Sometimes it is the hard things we need to say, instead of the cheery. I only pray I do both with love.
It was July 7, 2011.
I was living in Grand Rapids, working at Kumon, and enjoying the summer before my senior year.
I was working when my boss came up to me and told me not to let any of the students out of the center without their parents. A few miles south of us, there was violence unleashing. “They’re killing kids down there,” she said.
It was nearly ten years to 9/11. I flashed back to the memory of walking into my classroom, black smoke streaming from a skyscraper, my teacher’s eyes unmoving from the scene, and realized I knew just how she had felt. Finish reading at The Rising.