Monday, April 21, 2008

Remembering...

As we stepped out of the car, I squinted through the bright sunshine to peruse the goings-on around me. The wind danced through my hair as I watched children chasing each other through the grassy fields and colorful kites whipping through the crystalline blue sky. The mood was joyous, playful and made for a perfect backdrop for a springtime Sunday afternoon.

Only yards away, however, there was a group of people whose mood and emotions were decidedly different. Against a picture-perfect canvas of mountains, lake and white puffy clouds was a somber reminder of a tragic day in the life of this town...and our country.

I arrived yesterday in Littleton, Colorado for a hastily-scheduled meeting with an association that I plan events for. You see, the father of one of my "right hands" for the conferences we put on passed away Friday; thus, funeral arrangements and family obligations are preventing her from going to California with us tomorrow. My impromptu trip to Denver yesterday was planned so that we could sit down and plan how to cover in her absence.

As we were driving down the clean, open roads of Littleton, we passed Columbine High School-- the site of the tragic rampage of 2 weapon-wielding students nine years ago. It just so happened to be the anniversary of the event and my boss asked if I would like to visit the memorial located on a hillside in a park just behind the school.

As we approached the brick retaining wall bearing the names of the victims and tributes by their families, I couldn't get over how strong the wind was blowing. At times it was hard to walk straight due to the wind pushing against our bodies.

"It's never like this, " my friend said. "I can't believe it's so windy."

I explained that I had checked the weather before traveling and it made mention of "strong wind" just for that day.

As we were moving from one epitaph to the next, my heart broke for the visitors holding each other weeping. Were they family? Former students/survivors perhaps?

I approached the marker for a victim named Lauren Townsend. I was reading an excerpt from her diary and a phrase engraved on the stone hit me like a ton of bricks:




The wind is God.

The full entry read as follows:

A woman in the middle of a field of flowers kissing Jesus' wounds; I didn't think I could draw such a beautiful picture. I did tonight. It took me only two hours. I think something was guiding me other than just my hand.

That is my dream. When I die, I want to wake up in a field of flowers and see Jesus sitting there smiling, happy to see me, holding my hand.Then I want to kiss his wounds. Maybe it sounds corny, but I can't even describe how happy I would be if I could do that.

Then I would hug him, he'd kiss me on the forehead, and we would just sit there hugging in the sun with the wind blowing in our hair. The wind is God because God is everywhere. Just that moment is worth living many lives for. I feel so peaceful, calm, and joyful; like I am on the verge of enlightenment. There is so much more going on here than we realize.

I do think humanity is losing touch with itself and their relationship with their surroundings. Unfortunately it usually takes a huge trauma to get people to realize what is important and I feel that is what is going to happen to wake up everyone to get in touch with their spiritual sides. I am not afraid of death for it is only a transition. For, in the end all there is, is love.

*****************


To read the portion about the wind while having an uncharacteristic wind blowing on the anniversary of such a horrific tragedy--it gave me chills up and down my arms.

I used to believe in coincidence but, as I grow older, I see more clearly the handiwork of God and how His plan is intricately woven and guaranteed to give us chills every now and then.


Along with them, I will remember...

Columbine High School ~ Littleton, CO

To read the full tributes engraved for each of the students, click here.

5 comments:

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Beautiful, my friend. What a precious girl with an amazing mind and heart. I'm so glad you wrote about this! It blessed me today.

Mia said...

It is amazing to read about a young person who had such great faith and peace. I too believe that what we so often chalk up to coincidence is really God's unwaivering hand touching our lives.

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

The wind is God because God is everywhere.

I hope someday my own daughter can believe something so simple but profound with the peacefulness Lauren spoke of. I wish I could be as far along in my own Christian journey as she already was. I'm so glad you got to experience that Katie, and glad you wrote about it for the rest of us.

Good luck with the rest of your trip and sympathy to your "right hand."

M

Sincerely Anna said...

This gives me chills, as well. I'm just speechless and amazed by Lauren Townsend's words from her diary.

cally said...

Oh Katie. So nice. I grew up in Littleton, and had many a choir rehearsals in Columbine. I was surprised by how horribly I reacted to that tragedy. I felt so much sorrow, and fear.

Your reminder, and Lauren's, is wonderful. Sobering. And welcome.

Thank you.