I wanted to share a funny story today. I wanted to share one yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. But I can’t.
It’s so hard to put into words what is happening to the hearts of all who have made their homes here in the happiest of valleys. It’s hard, hard, hard, but I’ve got to give it a shot. I’ve got to talk about it one more time, and then maybe I can find a place to store it in my heart and my mind. I don’t intend to hide it, but I want to try to find a place where it won’t stop me from functioning.
Most of us here are walking around in a shell-shocked daze. We are numb. We are so horrified that we can’t even clear our minds enough to grasp the magnitude of what has happened.
But we know it’s bad.
We live in a small town. We have seven elementary schools, two middle schools and one large high school. There are five grocery stores, (not including the Wal-Mart superstores) two community pools, one library, a small mall and a number of stores downtown. We also are the home of one large university with award-winning academic programs; numerous professors who are highly regarded in their fields; a new law school; and a well-known football program.
We know each other.
We teach the children of most people who work at the university, along with the kids in our own neighborhoods. All of our children, from main street to alley, know each other. They all play sports together, attend banquets together, go to parties, playoffs, dances and so many other things that I can’t even begin to name them.
We know each other.
And so we are all trying to come to terms with what our hearts are feeling. We are mourning the loss of innocence and the endless number of lives that were destroyed by the actions of one terrible person. We are also mourning the lives of those that will be destroyed by the lack of action of many people.
But the one thing that I think about each night before I fall asleep is this.
I see the face of a young boy. He is in the shower, being tortured by a man he trusts– and he sees the face of another, the face of someone who can save him! And then just when he thinks he’s saved, that person turns his back, and walks away.
And he is left alone.
That, my friend, is the only thing I think about at the end of each day. And it makes me sick.