Sunday, July 22, 2012

Comfort and Peace

The barn where our oldest took her first truly serious riding lessons sat back a ways off the highway, not a necessarily immaculate place but highly functional.  The indoor arena was especially appreciated when the cold weather hit – late October, early November.  As winter progressed and things got seriously cold, even the barn could not completely shield from the shivers.  It would still get frosty-breath cold inside the large structure. 

There was an outdoor arena, too, as I recall.  You could hear the traffic from there.  Or watch the planes fly over on their way to or from the major airport just to the north.  I recall nice views of the mountains on the western horizon as you drove to the place, but I don’t remember being wowed by those same sweeping vistas once on the property.  

Christie was a great instructor, seeming to take a special interest in our gal.  But then, I think she probably took a special interest in all the kids who demonstrated a genuine love for horses, learning and having fun along the way.

That barn stands about five miles from the Century 16 Theatre, where the senseless killing and injuring of so many early Friday morning has changed things forever for so many:  The families and friends of the deceased.  The wounded and their loved ones.  Those who escaped the theater without a physical scratch.  The surrounding community members.   All of us, in one manner or another.

When something like this happens, there is so much to say … and yet there is a struggle for words … and words you dare not utter.  When I think of folks – kids most of them, really – out having a good time or engaging in the everyday rituals of life just an instant before tragedy strikes, my mind draws up recollections of the Fort Worth church shooting, the Texas A&M Bonfire tragedy, the Hill Country church camp flood of so many years ago.  And certainly Columbine.  The swiftness with which so many lives were changed forever in the relatively brief moments of those incidents is frightening.  And I really don’t even want to think about that.  The unimaginable. 

All I want to do is pray that God’s comfort and peace embrace the good folks of Aurora and the many across the country and around the world who are changed forever by the events of the past several days.  Amen.