I live in Madison, AL.
I'm proud to live here.
Right now, it's hard to live here. Within a ten day span, my community has suffered great loss and senseless violence.
I was at Blissdom 2010 on Friday, February 5th when I received word that there had been a shooting at Discovery Middle school. I was in the midst of wonderful women, lots of knowledge and fun.
My heart just broke.
My kiddos are older and have moved to high school, but my friends have children that attend school there. I have friends that are teachers there. I have friends that are administrators in the school system. I have friends in this community. Regardless of whether we are directly affected or have been hit by the ripple affect, we are hurting.
Our hearts break, we begin to ask questions and desire answers. We want to make a difference, to encourage and motivate. We want to make it all better.
And we can't.
What we can do, is pray. And I have been. What we can do is encourage our friends and I have been. What we can do is be part of the solution or prevention not stir up more dissent and anger. I am trying to be part of the solution.
I have struggled with sharing the joy and blessing of Blissdom in the midst of my community hurting and, to be quite honest, trying to recover from a couple of crazy work weeks.
I was headed home on Friday, excited to compile, focus, organize my thoughts and share them with you when another senseless tragedy hit on Friday.
This time.. I was more directly affected. Somewhat. And it's been a hard weekend.
I work as an Executive Assistant to the Director of Educational Outreach for HudsonAlpha. We are a biotech institute focused on research, education and economic development.
The colleagues that were killed and injured on Friday night were/are good friends of the institute.
Many of the people I work with on a daily basis are faculty at UA Huntsville in the Biology department.
Many of the people I work with on a daily basis are hurting because of this senseless act.
I know I have spoken with many of the people involved a handful of times over the last few years. I didn't have personal relationships with them, but then again, I did.
The team that I support and work with on a daily basis, have close ties to the victims and UA Huntsville.
Their hearts are broken.
They are angry and confused.
They are numb.
They are speechless.
So am I.
They are hurting, so I hurt. They are grieving, so I grieve.
I don't understand a single thing. I can't make any sense out of what has happened to our community.
What I do know…. is this.. I can help in whatever way is needed. What I do know… is that I can pray.
My friends need comfort, peace and mercy. My friends need hope and love and grace.
49-56 Remember what you said to me, your servant—
I hang on to these words for dear life!
These words hold me up in bad times;
yes, your promises rejuvenate me.
The insolent ridicule me without mercy,
but I don't budge from your revelation.
I watch for your ancient landmark words,
and know I'm on the right track.
But when I see the wicked ignore your directions,
I'm beside myself with anger.
I set your instructions to music
and sing them as I walk this pilgrim way.
I meditate on your name all night, God,
treasuring your revelation, O God.
Still, I walk through a rain of derision
One of my Pastors and my friend, Jimmy Aycock said this morning, " We have a great responsibility as the church to pray so that something else won't happen." He wasn't making a statement that there was not personal responsibility in either case. He was urging all of us to pray, with great responsibility against the forces of the enemy and to pray for protection for our community.
Will you join me? We sure could use your prayers.
I love you,