It came as a text message from my daughter.
That was the moment I found out a shooter had killed a classroom of elementary school students in Texas yesterday.
I was standing in my kitchen, still wet from my walk in the rain to the elementary school. I had just picked up my daughter’s son from his last full day as a kindergartener.
I’ve been teaching my grandson Owen some life skills this year: working with wood, fixing toys, and taking things apart to see how they work. This time, I was getting ready to teach him how to make “monster hamburgers” for the two of us, and for his dad and his three-year-old brother.
We were standing at the kitchen counter—Owen on a stool he helped me build. His mom sent the text from her work at a children’s hospital,
“Did you see the news? Don’t watch it with Owen around.”
It doesn’t make sense
I was already reading that text out loud so Owen could hear what his mom was saying from work. I stopped after “Don’t watch it with…” Then I quickly backed a few steps away from Owen and opened the Associated Press News app.
I read the lead silently and clicked the screen away.
Owen said, “Don’t watch it with what?” He repeated that three times before I simply said, “I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense.”
Conversation with God
I don’t know what to say to God.
I don’t know what he would say to us.
But I do know there’s a time to cry.
There’s a time to be silent.
There’s a time to speak up.
In moments of value, and under the weight of great loss, we sing the sad song, we rise in silent tribute, and we find in ourselves the love and the wrath to speak the word that matters.
May that word catch fire in the spirit of good people.
God of Creation, strike the spark, if it must be you.
We’ve been cold for so long.