Yesterday was hard.
Writing was out the window.
I didn’t post on Facebook until late, because I’m one of those who tries to keep it light. Just post the positive stuff, the lighthearted banter.
It’s hard to be lighthearted when the first news you hear that morning is that there has been a shooting at a local high school. The school where my oldest nephew is teacher, coach, FCA sponsor. At the time, all we knew was that there was one fatality and some injured. Then we heard that the shooter was apprehended. Later we learned that another child died at the hospital. Two fatalities, 14 gunshot injuries, 5 non-gunshot injuries.
We heard from our nephew, through my husband’s brother. He said that his son texted him two words, soon after the shooting. “I’m OK.”
I think, from now on, every time I see or hear those words, I’ll feel a little differently about it. Sometimes we use those words to deflect someone looking deeper into our situation, our hurt, our pain. But sometimes? Sometimes it’s a reassurance that nothing matters except that “I’m OK.”
Sometimes it means “I’m alive,” or “I’m not hurt.”
I have a feeling that this time it means, “God is good, and I’m busy helping students, teachers, and first responders. I love you. Pray.”
That’s what it meant to me. Pray. Pray for Marshall County High School. This school is about 15 miles from where I grew up. They were Graves County High School’s rivals. I almost cried into my Twitter feed when I saw GCHS post “Eagles ❤ Marshalls.”
I admit, I felt helpless. I was worried. I couldn’t stop updating my Twitter feed and my Facebook feed, looking for more information. Then a friend of mine posted this on Facebook: Deuteronomy 31:6 (New King James). It reads, Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
God is good. Even when it looks like He has forsaken you, he has not.
Our Sunday School lesson this week was from Psalm 139. Here are the first few verses from the Holeman Christian Standard Version:
Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I stand up;
You understand my thoughts from far away.
3 You observe my travels and my rest;
You are aware of all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue,
You know all about it, Lord.
5 You have encircled me;
You have placed Your hand on me.
6 This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me.
It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.
We had a long discussion on the amazing phrase, “You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me.” What a concept. God doesn’t just love us, he ENCIRCLES us.
When you feel helpless, and things look hopeless, think on these things. God IS love. The world is a fallen place, but God is there, right beside those children, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, custodians, and first responders. When it looks hopeless, PRAY. When you feel helpless, PRAY.
And when you think of Marshall County High School? PRAY.