A couple of days ago school began for kids in our area. Busses were back on the roads, parents were frustratedly waiting in carpool lanes and if you fine-tuned your senses just right you could sense that autumn nip in the air. All was as it should have been, at least in our little bit of our sweet little town. We breathed our air as we listened to music and made the long trek home from school. Just one street over, at that same exact time, another family was on their way to pick up their own kids from school too. After nearly colliding with a reckless driver, the reckless driver proceeded to fatally shoot the father at an intersection…

Up until that moment, there were all sorts of things at the forefront of my mind. House hunting stresses and disappointments, frustrations with professional people who don’t do their jobs which therefore make it difficult for me to do what I need to do, etc. Up until that moment I was pretty full of me, I guess you’d say. And it’s not that these weren’t real things to be concerned with. That’s not my point… My point is simply that a man was killed at 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, in the middle of a street at a red light. This man was a father and a husband. His wife sat in the passenger seat watching. This happened in front of the ice cream place my daughter grew up visiting. Their children were sitting at school, eager to tell their mommy & daddy about their day. It’s so senseless and big, so, so big.

It was Chw who first told me, mere moments after it happened. He texted to make sure we were home and safe. Details weren’t out yet, other than a shooting and a death, and their location. Our town is sweet and I simply kept thinking about how unfathomable it all seemed. It wasn’t until the next day, however, when the depth of it really hit me. I was reading a news article and it said that amidst the gunshots, witnesses heard the anguished scream of the wife from within the car.


All at once I wanted to know her. My heart ached to provide love and shelter to her family and do everything in my power to bring them whatever worldly comfort I could, even though it would feel like nothing at all in reality. Anguish. This woman is living and breathing in anguish. Those children want their daddy.

Last week Gen and I drove by our local funeral home and noticed there was a funeral procession beginning for a local fireman. To see the outpour of community and the volume of firetrucks/firemen melted my heart. My face becomes a puddle, my chest morphing to sobs. Being human, at its heart, should be to care for others. For our hearts to literally break along side a strangers because pain is pain. This is compassion, and compassion is derived from PASSION. Shouldn’t we act on our compassion passionately? When did we forget that the absence of compassion is indifference?

I asked myself Sunday why it has taken me so many years to realize these things.

A woman’s world exploded within that witnessed anguished scream, and those words are haunting me. Can we help the anguished ones? Can we love the world into a less hurting place? Is that unrealistic? I mean, certainly remaining indifferent to the aching for me-centric stresses doesn’t seem like a solution…

3 thoughts on “feelings…

  1. Oh dear, and oh my dear. It’s so hard. I hate that it takes moments like this (or even just hearing about your moment) to make my own heart grateful. Intellectually sure … I know I’m blessed … blah blah blah! But it’s really pathetic how mope-y I can get, and how snappy and upset, over tiny things. The SUDDENESS of those types of situations – cannot even fathom. Well, I can. And maybe that’s why it’s good to hear and see them once in a while, so I can get my ugly heart back in place. I feel like this has been a god awful summer, and yet. It’s been perfectly fine, and I’m sure that anguished woman would give everything for my summer.

  2. This is so sad. I just can’t fathom one person feeling so much anger in his heart that the could take the life and love away from so many. Breaks my heart for that family. I feel so deeply when I read about things like this happening; it saddens me so deeply…this is why I don’t read the news or watch the news. I know it sounds weird, but the less I know, the less I hurt. Take care my friend.

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