Seen and Heard and Felt

I'm still reeling in the wake of another school shooting. One in our own backyard. In the city where my husband works, where I take my babies to play at the park, where I had my first writing internship, where countless friends and their families live. Sparks might as well be Reno - truth be told I don't even know where the boundaries lie when I'm driving down the road from one place to the next - it's just an extension of the place I call home.

For those of you who may have only glanced the headline in national news, it's a story much like many we've already heard. A gun slides into a school with a middle school student and maybe we'll never know why, because that baby is dead now. He opens fire and a teacher lays down his life. A couple more are wounded but alive, and we breathe a sigh of relief, because it could have been so much worse. We breathe a sigh of relief because two lives seems like so little after all we've seen and heard and felt.

There's a numbness where there used to be shock. Instead of taking a tone of solemnity, we comment without tact. We pull in politics where there should be empathy. Newscasters swoop in like paparazzi, shoving cameras and microphones in the faces of traumatized children. Sensationalizing tragedy like Hollywood movie and acting as if they're following a noble calling. The same dialogues are spewed by two dueling sides and soon forgotten. Saved for the next blood raining day.

And we send our thoughts and prayers, like we always do, because we cannot promise change. We cannot say that it will never happen again, because we know it will. It always does. The blood of a hero and a child aren't enough to satiate deep pockets of those who make the rules. Heroes and children have died before and heroes and children will die again. Cries for change will be ignored. Cries of injustice will be smothered.

We hold our babies close and love them and pray over them and hope it will never happen any nearer to our hearts than this. We hope angels will watch over them when they're out of our sight. We hope evil will pass them by. Because hope seems like all we can do after all we've seen and heard and felt.

But I'll tell you, some days mere hope feels hopeless.