lay ’em down.

13 Oct
Tonight confirmation got real.  Not that it had ever been fake … but instead of the ordinary night, there was a big change.  I had bought fleece; we were going to make tie pillows.  I had picked up paint samples so we could decide what color we wanted to paint our room.  We didn’t do any of that.
Last night there was a double suicide in Stillwater.  Two ninth graders – a boyfriend and girlfriend.  They were found dead in a park.  They were not members of Trinity, of our confirmation program, but the ninth graders, along with the seventh and eighth graders, came with heavy hearts, so much emotion, and so many questions.  The planned lessons went out the window.
Pastor TJ talked about all of the empty pages these two now have unwritten in their lives.  How suicide is not heroic.  How even when we think life is hopeless, when you think you’re alone, and you want to close the book on the years to come, there are people to turn to, there are people who love and value each person.  We had communion together, wrote prayers and feelings in marker on a giant sheet of paper, and lit candles as prayers upon the altar.  I didn’t know these two fourteen year olds but that moment of prayer, lighting a candle on the altar, got me.  There I found my connection with God and my moment of mourning.  I cried alongside the girls in my group.  I cried for them and the pain their feeling at the unnecessary loss of two friends and I cried for those families.  I simply cannot imagine.
Paul writes, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  These verses from Romans were used by Pastor TJ and guided our prayer in our small group.  As we talked in our groups, one of the things we wanted our confirmands to leave with was a list – a list of three people they can talk to no matter what, a list of three people to whom they can go in any circumstance.  The ladies in my group are blessed to be wonderfully supported by each other and by families.  Amen to that.  But to those who feel alone and hopeless, I hope they left with that list and that they’ll use it.
As I took my half hour drive back to St.Paul from Stillwater, this was the song, by needtobreathe, that my car cd player repeated over and over at my prompting — 
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