We never know when this day could be our last day. This past week, a too-young woman was killed in a car accident in our home town. We are rocked. It was sudden. I know her family. It seems tragic, and far too soon. We weren’t ready. Can you ever be ready for that? She has small children. A husband…now required to go on alone. At twenty-seven, we find it hard to find the words to describe our feelings about her passing. The conflicting emotions want out, but how? How do we express the sorrow? I write. It’s what I do.
This is what I found within. Please pray for the family. God knows who they are. ljh
In Our Troubles
“What do I see? They are terrified, they are retreating, their warriors are defeated. They flee in haste without looking back, and there is terror on every side,” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 46:5
The message came to Camille when she was walking through the mall. On her left was a small group of geriatrics, shuffling with the assistance of canes and walkers into the Bonton; this being the first of the month, and they, hot to spend their SSI checks. She didn’t think the message could possibly be referring to them. To her right she saw a manager chewing out her tattooed and heavily pierced employee. No, that didn’t seem right, either. She kept walking.
“What do I see?”
Camille looked around. All she saw was store fronts and passersby, strolling with their children in hand or their lovers at their sides. They had purses and bags full of sundry goods. No one looked terrified, and no one was retreating in the formal sense. There were people entering and exiting stores, but no one was in a hurry to do it. No one was running.
“More than a few of them look like their defeated, but it’s the same everywhere,” Camille thought. This is a hard-knocks town, so yeah, we’re all looking defeated now and again, given the day.”
Camille kept walking.
Mommas with baby strollers passed by, no one seemed terrified. An old man left the coffee shop. Retreating, yes, but not terrified. A trainer with her companion pup sat at the center court and gave reassurances as she watched for the golden retriever’s reaction to multiple stimuli. She certainly didn’t look defeated and she wasn’t making any hasty moves.
“They are terrified, they are retreating, they are…defeated.” She heard it again.
A shriek rang out and Camille commanded her hurdler’s legs into action. Within moments, she was able to see what everyone else had flocked near the escalator could see. A teen boy, fourteen maybe, standing on the railings above the three-story drop. He was balancing on the balls of his feet. Now perching there. Now closing his eyes. Now falling…
“They flee in haste, without looking back, and there is terror on every side.”
Another soul had lost his battle with depression. Camille hung her head and sobbed as everyone, save mall security, backed away and abandoned the broken and bloody body lying on the mall floor. Sirens could be heard in the distance, as a shopper unknown to Camille dropped heavy bags and ran screaming toward the body. She took his brokenness into her arms and cradles him there until the EMT’s forced her to back away. She collapsed, a heap of spent flesh on the tile floor. Camille lay down beside her.
“I’m going to hold you now,” Camille said. “I’m going to stay right here and hold you now.” She wrapped her arms around the woman, shielding her as well as she was able until some compassionate soul ran for a blanket from the trunk of their car and covered them both. He stayed nearby, his back turned to them, but his presence preventing anyone from drawing near.
The woman whimpered something. Camille replied, “I’m not going anywhere.”
The voice within spoke to Camille in that moment of personal sacrifice, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
Copyright, Lori Hoose April 5, 2018