We were finishing up lunch and the TV channel that had been on had switched to a show we cared nothing about. We hadn't been watching the previous show but the drama filled show that now filled the screen wasn't welcome to even be heard.
I reached across the table sitting in the large dayroom where all of our meals are eaten with the other patients and started flipping through the channels. Cale started asking me a question and when I looked back at the TV to see what station I had landed on, it was the news.
At that time it wasn't clear what was going on. I knew a shooting had happened but had gotten no details. Were they talking about the shooting at the mall? The speakers switched and I was lost on the story. Cale was continuing to point out the jam that was smeared all over his shirt; remnants of his pb&j sandwich. We walked to his room and continued on with our day. We actually had just posted on our Darling Project Facebook page about a new project we have coming up next month...
...and then I read someone's status.
The tears filled my eyes as I walked back to the dayroom and read the words plastered across the screen. 26 dead at elementary school in Connecticut. 18 kids.
My heart broke.
My eyes were frozen on the screen as I walked around the couch taking a seat. Cale had his iPad in hand as he found his place next to me. I was searching for details. Answers. Someone to say it was all a mix up. Did this really happen?
As I watched and listened waiting for any information that could be shared, Cale kept asking me about his game that wasn't working. I could feel my body start to shake and trying my best to help him while still so focused on the news that was pouring from the box on the wall.
After several minutes I managed to get myself off the couch and get to the bathroom. When I came back, the resident was talking with Cale and then we had a few minutes of talking. The TV was still covering the devastating shooting so I had to try extra hard to focus my attention.
Right after Cale started to get upset at the discussion with the doc and talk about medication changes. I almost could not contain myself.
Here I was standing in front of my husband as he was first complaining of his game not working and then now complaining about being at a hospital that is helping him get better. All I wanted to do was scream at him. "How can you whine about such simplistic things when those kids...those little kiddos...the families..." I wanted to ask him if he really understood that so many deaths have just taken place. So many lives changed forever.
I know you must think I'm horrible for the thought process, but it took me just seconds to remember that Cale doesn't understand. He doesn't have the capacity to think outside of himself in such a way that a game not working for him or being away from home are not big deals to him.
He said it was sad, he prayed with me, but outside of those few minutes, his brain moves on while my brain can't stop thinking about it.
Not too many months ago it was a movie theater, then a mall, and now this school. There have been other school shootings in the past and I think we all know this isn't the end of it.
I do hope that we can all take these tragic times and grow in our understanding of how lost our world is and how they need Jesus. I think about myself and how many people I come in contact with each day, even while Cale is inpatient in a hospital. I am supposed to love them and be Jesus to each and every person. I think about the movie Pay it Forward. Honestly I watched the movie when it first came out and haven't watched it since then. I don't remember any details about the story line except that the theme of it was paying the goodness you've received to someone else. Passing it on.
Do we do this daily? Do we love others daily? Do we pray for lost hearts daily?
I am praying for the families in todays shootings and for so many of the other families that have been affected my these shootings that happen in the middle of a normal day.
I'm also lifting up the family of the shooter. I've been typing this and have no updated news if they know anything about him, but I know he has a family.
Reality is that it's too late to pray for the shooter. He's where he chose to be, but it's not too late to pray for the people around us that are still living and breathing and lost.
We're praying for people to find Jesus through this.