I went to sleep at 1 a.m. last night - which is pretty normal for me. At 5 a.m. our son opened our bedroom door, which is not normal. Light flooded in and I think I yelled... a tiny bit.
Phil had parked the van behind the car DAvid is driving and David doesn't have a key to the van so before the crack of dawn DAvid was standing in our doorway whispering, "Mom! Mom! I need the key to the van! I have to move it so I can get to work!"
We took care of that and then I fell into a light sleep before waking up at 6:30 when Phil left the house. Then I woke up at 8 but went back to sleep and slept soundly (finally) until 9:30. (The joys of being retired!) At that point I panicked because I was supposed to be at a neighbor's house by 10. So I frantically scrambled around here in order to make it on time.
When I got to my neighbor's house, he told me a friend had called and asked if he was okay - that the news had mentioned a shooting on our street and given his address.. We both kind of looked at each other and I said, "Doesn't look like anyone was shot here to me..." He said, "No, not that I know of..."
My phone started ringing - another neighbor calling - and at the same time I got a text from my sister-in-law. I glanced down at the text from my sister-in-law, not realizing it was the second one she had sent me and saw something like, "Okay. It was at the other end of your street, near the woods." ????
By this time I'm thinking: I really should have gotten up at 8 instead of going back to sleep... Brain is still struggling when apparently all the little grey cells need to be up and firing...
The bottom line is that we have about 30 or more new brick homes that have gone in at the end of our street. Most of them haven't been occupied yet although almost all have "sold" signs on them. Some houses are still going up, driveways being poured, sod still being laid, etc. It was in one of these new homes that a shooting occurred last night, the last place we would have expected it.
I don't know anything about the family who lives there and obviously feel sorry for them. But we are fine and didn't even know it happened until I started getting texts.
So that's been my morning... Had a great visit with a friend of mine who met me at the neigbhor's house - the three of us laughed and talked and then briefly prayed at the very end of our visit. Afterwards Stephanie and I drove into the new housing division and saw a Channel 11 reporter standing beside the house in question, talking into a mic while a cameraman filmed it. And that was it. I came home and checked the news on the internet to find out what was going on so if you watched the news first thing this morning or read the paper, you knew more about it than I did...
I have thought quite a bit this afternoon about what Corrie ten Boom wrote - that there is no place safer to be than in the will of God and I hope/trust we are in it. No doubt we will be praying and checking with God just to be sure He still wants us here.
I have also thought a lot about things I've heard recently from people who either have grown kids on the mission field or who are home on furlough from the mission field. Some of the things I've heard have made me ramp up prayers for their safety in areas I never even thought of as being particularly dangerous.
And the last thing I thought of is that this is the mosaic of life: joy and laughter with friends, sadness and tragedy just a few blocks down the street... Death coming unexpectedly to an older, seemingly stable resident while a house not far from us that is definitely associated with young people on drugs - that house is untouched. We may think we'll know when our time is coming but we really don't know when we'll leave this earth. We can, however, know our destination if we belong to Jesus.
So my big concern right now is: did I pass out a Christmas baggie to that house last Dec? ANd did our 2014 greeting in the Christmas baggie have a plain enough message about the gospel so that anyone could understand it? I really can't remember if we got to that house or not and that is what bothers me - that and the grief they must be experiencing today. How I pray (and ask you to pray) that they do not grieve as those who have no hope in Christ.
The truth is that the Bible says it is appointed for each of us to die some day and after death there is judgment. However, Romans 8:1 says that for the Christian, there is no condemnation. This is not a small thing.... At all.
So, yes, we need to be ready. But our neighbors need to be ready also. And if we don't tell them, who will?