Drivel that cannot fit in a single panel comic.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lunch Time

I spent half of my lunch hour reading UUpdates. Most of the blogs were about the shooting in Knoxville. After I finished reading, I could not draw a cartoon (my usual lunch hour activity). The temperature in my office played a role (my thermometer reads 76 degrees but I have a vent that blows air on me all day and I cannot get out of the stream no matter how I arrange my office) in my desire to get out and take a walk. An office is too cold if a walk outside in near 100 degree temperatures feels good. The afternoon walks help my body get back to a normal temperature.

I haven't been to a service this month. Walter and I heard saw the news on CNN as we sat in McDonald's. We headed to my mother-in-law's house to celebrate her birthday. I followed events on the cell phone.

After reading all the blogs and news stories my thoughts turned to my own church. I went over a lot of these while on my walk. I could not draw with these things churning in my head. I thought about Tim, Claudette, Martha, Doug, Sharon and others who have stood in the foyer greeting people coming in. I've greeted people in that same foyer. People who don't join the service until meet and greet. All of us on the front line if a person decided to come to the church to do harm. I thought about the layout of our sanctuary, the lack of pews to hide behind but plenty of avenues of escape and chairs to throw. I thought about Dave, Judy, Lauralee, Sharon and other mobility and visually impaired people. I know that other members would have helped them escape. I thought about the current board and other UU church boards evaluating their emergency procedures.

I thought about the shooter in Knoxville. Doesn't look disturbed. They never do. Wanted suicide by cop. What a coward. Could be one of us.

I thought about Ken and Wayne, always walking into church with an instrument case. Others bring instruments all the time. Where two or more UUs are gathered together there is a guitar.

I thought about what I would do in such a situation. I'm sure others have or will do so as they head to church next Sunday. In my head, I'm quite brave. I hope and pray that reality never calls my bluff.

Several blogs included parts of the hymn, Gentle Angry People. Appropriate given the stated motivations of the shooter. I never cared for that hymn but now I have to reevaluate.

I will go to church next Sunday. I will try to keep the scary thoughts at bay, resist the urge to unlock the sliding glass doors, and resist lifting a chair to check its heaviness. Despite these thoughts, I will feel safe at my church. I will pray that the members of the TVUUC will regain their sense of safety soon.

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