Sewing Day has been cancelled, the text read. A second text mentioned hospital, surgery, and gunshot wounds.
We had slept in until 8 AM that Saturday. Mr. Pat was in the process of making waffles for breakfast when I read the texts. What on earth happened, we wondered. How could this be? I dressed, we ate, and I prepared to leave. A phone call to my sister shared more.
Two had been shot. My youngest brother, good friends with both brothers and with them at the time, had not. Several were held by authorities for questioning. My sister and her husband were on their way to see if they could speak with our brother or at least leave phone numbers so he could call one of us.
Yes, I would go to stay with my niece, expectant with their second child, and her husband’s parents at the hospital. Yes, indefinitely. As long as necessary.
There were hugs. Tears. Texts. Phone calls. Questions. Prayers. There was fear. Anxiety. Anger. Grief. Faith. Hope. Assurance. And there was comfort in being together.
Gratitude was not far behind. For emergency personnel, and trauma surgeons and medical staff. For offers of assistance, consolation, and support. For favorable tests showing the baby was not stressed. For my brother’s release from jail with no charges. For numerous successful surgeries. And seventeen days after the incident, for release from the hospital. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Through it all, God was with us. God never left us. God is still with us, involved in our lives. At the close of worship each Sunday we sing. Months in advance, I select a recurring tune. Interestingly, the month of October we sang, Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God... And in November, we’re singing:
In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful, in the Lord I will rejoice!
Look to God, do not be afraid. Lift up your voices, the Lord is near. Lift up your voices, the Lord is near.
Grace and peace … --Pastor Pat