All over the nation people have and will spend a moment in silence remembering Wanda Walters and Kristina Carter of Clovis. Both were known and loved in the community, but on Monday afternoon a troubled young Nathaniel Jouette stepped into the library and opened fire, cutting their lives short. We continue to keep Jessica Thron, Howard Jones, and Alexis Molina in our prayers as they fight for their lives in a Lubbock ICU. Thanks be that Alexis’ brother Noah is not so critical. We will remember them all in our noon church service today.
Our grief splits our hearts in two. On the one hand we rush to the side of the bereaved and the suffering. Rightly we want to stand with them in their pain, knowing that in company the pain can become cathartic, but alone it is unbearable. It is still senseless at this point, but somehow we know that together we can weather this better.
On the other hand my heart rages at the absence of men strong enough to corral young Nathaniel. Who could have saved him from his self-imposed initiation into something horrible? Who could have channeled his energies toward life rather than toward death? Who could have taught him that using hells methods never achieves heaven’s goals? Who could have shown him that he is important in the world but he’s not the center of it? I know others feel as I do.
Maybe this is what it means to have your heart broken. If so, may this break our hearts open to wisdom and compassion and not shut them down in bitterness and despair.