Remembering Oregon

Yesterday, I got to wake up and live an uneventful, pleasant day. I was smiling and laughing and teaching at 10:30 a.m. Last night, I got to close my eyes in my own bed and fall asleep as I listened to my husband read a book aloud. Then, I got to wake up this morning and breathe. I felt my body ache as I rose out of bed in the dark and rubbed my tired eyes. Then I got to greet the day.

But not Oregon.

God, I just don’t know what to say—about yesterday or any of the insanity that goes on in this world these days. But I guess it’s not my job to have all the answers, is it? It’s just my job to pray and love and realize this life is so very precious. Why it wasn’t me or you yesterday… Why it wasn’t someone we get to hold tonight… It could have been. Why not?

We will never know what it is like to be Oregon today. Or what it was like to be those college students, believers singled out to die for their faith. And we will never understand the sickness in the shooter’s heart—nor should we.

It’s not about knowing sometimes. It’s not about the details. Or about arguing. Because, my friends, hate is hate, and dark is dark. Sometimes it’s about remembering. Remembering pours sweet honey on our bitter loss. It whispers light into the dark. Remembering keeps the dead alive and brings them back home to us, if just for a moment. It’s what Oregon deserves. And every other person who has lost their lives to these atrocious mass shootings.

So let us remember. And for the precious victims and grieving families, let us pray without ceasing with our actions and our words. And I think all we can do—in their names—is live a better today since it’s a day they never had the chance to know.

So let us be love. Let us be humbled. And, dear God, let us realize that there is power in remembering.

So, light a candle tonight. Bow a head. Whisper Grace and plead for Peace. And say Amen, Amen.

May God keep you and your families close, now and forever: Lawrence Levine, Quinn G. Cooper, Lucas Eibel, Rebecka Ann Carnes, Lucero Alcaraz, Treven T. Anspach, Jason D. Johnson, Serena D. Moore, and Kim S. Dietz.

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