Memento: An Anecdote

The word “anecdote” seems to have a cheery connotation to it.  Even in the Webster’s definition, it is ascribed to be amusing.  However, in court you have what is called “anecdotal evidence” which tends to be anything but cheery or amusing.  Therefore, thanks to lawyers, anecdotes can be serious or sobering as well as funny and entertaining.  But … why am I starting off this post with a note on definitions and connotations?  Because today I’m resurrecting a somewhat forgotten series idea I started at the beginning of this year – a series and post category on this website with only one entry.

The first post in this series that I hope again to cultivate was definitely humorous and cheery (you can read it here if you’d like).  However, today’s anecdote probably won’t make you chuckle.  Also, I will not be unpacking this incident to glean some spiritual and life application from it as it directly appeals to spirituality and the harsher moments of life.  I’m going to let this one speak for itself.  It’s related to another post I wrote a year ago, which you can read here.  Let me know if you like the series so I can plan to do them more often (maybe even as often as once a month).


One year ago, the Sunday after Marysville, I wept the hardest I’ve wept in my whole life.  I parked my car and prayed in tongues.  I couldn’t find any more words of my own; they had drained from the bullet holes in my spirit.  Rage and grief clouded my eyes and spilled down my cheeks.  I don’t think I’ve ever prayed so loudly, and that prayer alone had steadied my trembling body enough for me to drive at all.

The shooting had contaminated the atmosphere in my region.  I was only separated from the incident by a small degree.  People who I knew and cared about deeply could have been hurt or killed, and that’s what fueled my rage.  It felt like a family member had been violated, and I couldn’t do anything about it.  The grief came from the knowledge that, while no one I knew had been physically harmed, the harm to their psyches was immeasurable.  I mourned their pain.  In some ways it was worse than watching them die, because dying would have meant that their pain was over.

But in that moment when I could barely speak or even breathe, I spat worship from my quivering lips.  I turned up the volume on my stereo to my favorite song of praise and coughed and sputtered through the verses and chorus.  I didn’t care if I was hitting all the right notes.  I needed to remember who my God was, even amidst all this brokenness.  The constellations are swimming inside the breadth of Your desire.  Where could I run, where could I hide from Your heart’s jealous fire?

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