For the next few weeks, I am going to share some excerpts from my first book, Fear No Evil, which releases in April. If you want to pre-order the book and support the Dream Centers we are opening in our city, go to www.Amazon.com
This is from Chapter One and I had just arrived home after the horrible shooting on our campus earlier that day.
Around nine-thirty, I pulled into the garage of our home in northern Colorado Springs and exhaled the weight I had been carrying since just after one that afternoon. It occurred to me that I hadn’t had time or space to let my emotions catch up to all that I had experienced, but no sooner had the thought crossed my mind than Pam came out from the house to the garage. She must have heard me pull in, and at the sight of her—my gorgeous, faithful, perfectly safe wife—I came undone. As tears flowed, we were silent. But in our silence we were thinking the same thing. We were so grateful no one in our family had been hurt, and at the same time we were devastated that the Workses had lost two daughters. We were grieving the other injuries and the loss of innocence for our church. So many emotions, wrapped up in soundless tears.
Several minutes passed in that garage—ten, maybe—before both of us realized that we’d be much warmer inside. We headed into the house, where I saw Pastor Jeff and his wife, Jenny. Faithful to the core, they had stayed put at Pam’s side all day long. What a gift to have friends like that.
The ten of us gathered in the living room—Jeff and Jenny and their four kids, Pam, our kids, and me—where I conveyed the most recent information I had been given from New Life security, New Life staff members, hospital personnel, family members of people hurt in the shooting, and so forth. The more I talked, the more drained I became. The day was finally wearing on me, from the inside out.
To neither Pam’s nor my surprise, Abram and Callie understood exactly what had unfolded at their church that afternoon. Even at ages nine and seven they grasped that someone had come to our campus to do very bad things, and that another person had been forced to stop him before the bad guy could hurt more people than he already had. Callie asked, “Dad, did he come on the campus to shoot you?”
Feeling too weary to do anything but tell the plain truth, I said, “Callie, he came on the campus to shoot all of us. We all were victims today.”
Satisfied with the facts, as kids so often are, she and her brother hugged me tightly and then headed off to bed. In their little world, as long as Dad was home, safe and sound, all was well once more. Plus, they had been spared the gruesome sights and sounds of the tragedy and had no awful memories needing to be worked through. They were miles away from the church by the time destruction rained down. For that, I’ll always be grateful.