Wednesday, September 17, 2014

God in the midst of tragedy

I don't go to the office on Wednesdays, but rather I am blessed to spend time at home with Norine, be an at-home dad and to do some freelance translation and consulting work. It was hard at first to move to a 32 hours a week. I felt guilty, like a student that skips a day of school. I have now learned to love it. The time I get to spend doing things with everybody in the family is priceless (while for everything else, of course I use my... Visa and MasterCard).
This morning I drove Emma to Front Range Christian High School. She loves it so much and I am so happy we are able to send her there. I love taking the kids to school. It is such a bonding time.

It was a cool Colorado morning at 7:30AM when I dropped off Emma and so I stopped at Columbine park to jog around Johnston Lake. I braved the 50 or so temperature with shorts and no gloves, which is big for me. After running around the lake once I heard the Columbine marching band practicing on their field and remembered that the park borders Columbine High School.
The Columbine is the state flower of Colorado. It is rare and quite elaborate. Beautiful, but surely not my favorite.
So, I decided to jog toward the school that became so sadly famous in April of 1999. I have never been there.
I wanted to find the memorial that was built to remember the 13 people that tragically lost their lives on that day. And there it was...very discrete on the side of a small and unimpressive open-space hill covered with a few brush flowers along with sparse, long and prickly grasses.

You have to know it is there or find it by mistake as you walk the path. There are no signs until you reach it to tell you of its location. Or at least, I did not see any.

It's round in shape, probably 150 feet diameter and carved in red rock, On one side of the circle water runs out of a half wall onto four flat red surfaces and drops four feet into a shallow and narrow pool with a soft sound.
On the other side a taller wall holds quotes from students and parents that experienced April 20, 1999. They are carved in rectangular frames of a different red.

The center holds 13 large slates each with a quote by a person that died on that day or a reflection by their family. I read probably eight of them. They all talk about God and Heaven, about the joy and desire to be with Jesus. Tears wet my eyes. Such young people with such strong faith. God has been removed from public schools in the US, yet all these students clearly clung to him during their lives and even during their last moments. God was surely there. "God is not dead".
It made me pause for a few minutes. If I was asked: "Do you believe in God?" like one of the girls that died at Columbine that day, would I be able to reply: "You know I do!".  Peter faced that question too... It is harder than I ever thought it would be, but I hope I would.

I want to go back to take some pictures, but for now, here is a link to photos I have found.