Never The Same

     It was a crisp, clear fall morning circa November 1995. The halls were filled with the hustle and bustle of teenagers shoving books into lockers, and couples trying to steal a few more minutes of hand holding before class began. I was a sophomore. Fifteen years old and completely naive about most everything. The sound was sudden.  Pop!  Pop!Pop! I thought someone had set off fireworks in the hallway. Until the screaming began. Then students were running everywhere. The head football coach began screaming, "get out of the hall"! My friends and I ran inside the side door of the auditorium, just as a shot was fired about two feet directly in front of us. That bullet hit a classmate in the throat. The say she died on the way to the hospital. Two other teachers were shot, one fatally. The rest of us were left living in a world where we would never again feel safe.

      For years (about 12 to be exact) I suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome. I still struggle at times. While I would never compare my experience that fall to the recent theater shooting in Colorado, I do feel led to share a few thoughts on the subject.

  • The people in the theater that night will never be the same. A person does not go through something that terrible without changing. They will grieve, many forever. Some may never get over it. Some may never feel safe in public again. Many will need therapy. Some will need medication. All of the survivors will feel that a part of them died that night.
  •  Many of them will seek answers they may never find. In my situation, there was such inaccurate speculation especially by the mainstream media that we never really knew anything. Eventually, the guy who did the shooting at my school spoke and told his side of the story. And yet, answers to the question of why still never came. What drives a person to do that? Why did he target innocent and random people? Why did no one see any warning signs? The list could go on and on. 
  •  The victims of this senseless tragedy need our prayers. Lots of them. For a long time. So do their families and friends and the community.
  •  The shooter needs our prayers. Something is wrong when a person commits such a tragic crime. Jesus says, But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,Matthew 5:43-45

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

1 comment:

victoria said...

Paige, you continue to amaze me each day. With each post and Facebook update, I see a new side to you, and each one I admire. I had no idea you'd been through something like this. My heart breaks for you, but rejoices because of where you are now.