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This will be a day I won’t forget. Too many odd pieces juxtaposed together.

I was up early, in the front yard cutting up the massive limb that had fallen two nights before. Mom came out and sat on the front porch, “Have you seen the news?”

No.

“There was a shooting in Aurora.” A fellow suburb. Not again.

When Columbine happened I was in the middle of Sichuan province bouncing around on some very poor roads visting a former student. It was pre-internet in the sense that we “only” had email (a huge blessing, none-the-less!) and I remember that I was reading Kathleen Norris’ The Cloister Walk. How could Columbine be my Columbine?! It wasn’t my high school, but there were three high schools built at the same time that used the same layout and mine was one of the three. I could picture the layout but my mind never quite made sense of it all. I was told how quiet the Denver area was for several days.

Corporate shock. Did that really happen? Did that happen here? Did children really plan and execute such an act? Corporate shock.

As a Coloradoan, I felt it even on the other side of the world.

And now I know it on this side of the world.

It felt odd to go on with our plans; but we did. A family outing to the botanic gardens where we enjoyed being together, probably all the more in light of what others were experiencing mere miles from us.

Two truths at once. Horror and Beauty.

We were having a tea party while others were wondering if loved ones were safe.

Part of me didn’t even want to post anything so as not to gain from others’ loss. This feels a bit voyeuristic and opportunistic.

But the truth is that every day there are horrors on both personal and corporate levels. And there are daily acts of connecting with others, enjoying creation, and creating memories. Acts that sprinkle and flavor our lives with grace.

As Jesus wept for Jerusalem, I can picture him weeping again over Denver, over those in the theater and evacuated buildings, over the hospitals, and the family members. This is not how it was supposed to be. We are still in Eden Lost.

This is my 100th post. For weeks I had been thinking of clever ways to mark this milestone (since I’m a numbers person and you don’t get good binary numbers all that often!). Not once did I picture it to have elements of a lament in it. But it does and should. This is what the messy middle is about — grace and truth lived out in the realities of life.

Lord, you promised through Isaiah that you would comfort us. We need it now, here in Denver. Please be merciful.

 

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