I can't believe it's happened again.
People of faith... murdered... while in their sacred space of worship.
It happened again!
Another vicious gunman provoked by self-insinuated hate.
This time 11 lives gone... a congregation -- an entire town -- torn to shreds.
I can't believe it's happened... AGAIN.
My uncle said it best:
"As the Jewish community in Pittsburgh is plunged in the horrors of grief,
our wounds are ripped open again."
My wound began to peel back last Wednesday.
I was conducting an interview with a Columbus pastor on a non-related subject, when he asked about my journey.
"So, how long have you been in Columbus?"
Me: "About three years."
"Oh, yea? And, where did you come from?
Me: "Charleston, SC... I was there for 5 years."
"Oh," he sighed as he put his hand over his heart in sorrow. "...that Charleston church shooting".
I never expected what happened next.
For some reason I was thrown back three years, 4 months and several days... with tears swelling in my eyes -- as if the scene was still raw.
"Tighten up, girl!", I fussed internally. "Don't. crumble!!"
But, I did. I crumbled hard.
Thankfully, Rev. Ahrens was patient, never loosing eye contact with me.
"I am SO sorry."
Me: "It's okay. I just... I never talk about this."
In that moment, I realized the inevitable was coming into play. I could no longer ignore the sounds and the nightmares of June 17th, 2015. I couldn't un-hear the sirens... I couldn't un-see the families weep in anguish... I couldn't erase the shaking in every person's voice who begged me to tell them the news wasn't true... I couldn't overlook how it scarred me and I certainly couldn't un-feel the fear in my heart for every minister and believer I know, and am related to.
I just.... couldn't.
But in hindsight, I believe it was God's way of preparing my emotions for what was to come.
Three days later, breaking news came down from the Tree of Life Synagogue -- and, all I could think of is when I was sent to Mother Emanuel AME Church at the corner of Meeting and Calhoun Streets in Charleston to cover the most terrifying story of my career.
I just can't believe it's happened again.
This "breaking news" literally broke me.
Our country is withering away at the hands of bigotry and injustice -- yet, here we are... left to grieve the scars that never really heal because our hearts are held prisoner to the ceaseless cycle of terrorism.
I don't know what the answer is, and I absolutely don't have a solution to dealing with the weighted grief of these endless attacks. All I can do is pray that one day hope, love and unity will overpower anger, violence and hate.
Will you join me?
Until next time,