I have struggled with writing about the shooting in Hesston - in fact, I wasn't going to post anything about it. However, for the sake of memories, I decided I should at least touch on it. It does deserve a place.
It just hit so close to home - particularly since Doug was directly involved. Honestly, I sometimes feel guilty for struggling with this tragedy. I wasn't there, I didn't lose anyone close to me, and, although I know a few people who work there, I didn't know any of the victims. And I get to move on with my life with little disruption. I feel like I am on the outside looking in.
But I guess that's okay. I didn't have to be directly involved for this to touch me. My heart is sad for the families of those who died, for those who were injured, for those who witnessed it, for my brother-in-law who will probably replay images over and over, for my sister and my niece and nephew who might sometimes wonder "what if?", for the children and family of Mr. Ford, and even for the communities of Hesston and Newton left wondering, "Are we really safe?"
I guess we have to choose to live in hope rather than in fear after something like this happens. One of the devotions I read to the kids shortly after this happened focused on this very topic. It comes from the kids' devotional, Jesus Today, by Sarah Young, adapted by Tama Fortner:
"Everyone wants to feel safe and secure. I know you want that too. Put your trust in Me, and I will look out for you. In fact, I am the only One who can keep you safe and secure for all time.
Whenever you start to feel unsure or unsafe - about anything - come to Me. First, tell Me your fears. Then, tell Me that you trust Me. Saying out loud that you trust Me brings Me even closer to you. And it also sends Satan - with all his lies and schemes - running away so that you are free from his evil ways.
Since the Garden of Eden, the devil has been telling lies. One of his biggest lies is that you don't need Me. Don't listen to Him! Put your trust in Me, because I am the truth, and I will keep you in my care."
"Being afraid of people can get you into trouble. But if you trust the Lord, you will be safe." - Proverbs 29:25
As we all work on healing from this ordeal, no matter how closely or how distantly we were involved, I hope we can choose to trust God over living in fear. It's a work in progress for me . . .