Friday, July 17, 2015

Dearest Chattanooga

I, like many of the rest of you, didn't sleep well last night.  My heart physically aches for the families that lost loved ones yesterday and for those who were injured in Chattanooga.  Hearing sirens isn't all that uncommon where I work since my office is located downtown but today I found myself cringing each time I heard them, hoping it hadn't happened again.  I've found myself on the verge of tears on multiple occurrences today because of the evil in our world, nation and even our community.

I can't even begin to imagine what the families and friends of the fallen are going through right now.  If you are currently suffering or now reliving a loss from yesterday's attacks, I am so deeply sorry and hope you know that you are prayed for.  As yesterday unfolded, my heart sank more and more as I thought of friends with the Chattanooga Police, Hamilton County Sheriff Department, EMS and other County employees I get the pleasure of interacting with on a daily basis.  The fear of "what if it was them" consumed me for a bit.  May we not forget the fact that these men and women are daily striving to keep us safe...they are our heroes. 

People have indicated their hatred for the one(s) behind the attack and I have to admit, it's hard to not choose that feeling.  It's not what will make any of this go away.  I've been so overwhelmed with how officials from Hamilton County, Chattanooga City and the FBI have handled things.  Our park rangers and employees with parks & recreation shared their lunches with citizens and one another yesterday when everything went on lockdown.  People checked on one another and went to give blood as soon as they could because they wanted to help and they wanted to love.  This.  This is what has to continue.  We must band together as a community, as a family, to move forward and to encourage one another.  I don't know how this will look going forward but I do know we still have a sovereign God who has NOT forgotten us or left us.  Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."  He is near us as we all grieve as a community and as a nation. 

May we walk in a peace that only God can envelop us in and a strength that only He can supply.

With Love,