On the day it happened I was working in Children's Church. I had the little kids-- the boys and a two year old girl. I was teaching the lesson of the baby Moses on flannel board. Remember those things? They still capture kids attention, decades after they caught mine. (I use the word "teach" loosely. I was mainly trying to narrate the story while the boys made the characters do what they wanted them to do.)
The music from the sanctuary stopped abruptly. I didn't think much of it.
A few seconds later the mother of the little girl came in. She said she wanted to be with her daughter. Someone was electrocuted.
A few weeks earlier a cover fell off one the ceiling lights, almost hitting someone in the crowd. It was harmless, just a piece of plastic.
I told myself this fell into that category.
Then others came into the nursery. Jamie told me it was Kyle.
All I could do was return to the flannel board to finish the story. I was afraid. I told God to let my fear be my prayer. I said that over and over. Let my fear be my prayer.
Much of the rest is a blur. Someone came in and said they were taking him to the hospital. Jen wanted me to take the kids home. I pulled the car around the back, loaded them up, and headed to their house.
Let my fear be my prayer.
Somewhere in the midst of getting the kids out, the story was being passed around that he still had a pulse.
Let my fear be my prayer. He still has a pulse. Let my fear be my prayer.
He didn't have a pulse, but that's what I was told so that's what I was going to believe.
After being home for a few moments many people came over to help out. Tracey got a call. She called me outside. I saw her face and knew.
Meg rode with me to the hospital. Tracey hadn't said anything. I knew. But still, she hadn't said anything.
As we approached the hospital I told myself that if I stayed in the car, it wouldn't have to be true.
Let my fear be my prayer. He still has a pulse. If I stay in the car, it wouldn't have to be true. Let my fear be my prayer.
I got out of the car.
Tonight was our Thanksgiving Love Feast. A lot of people have been writing very moving and raw and wonderful things about looking for him. (Like HERE.)
Tonight I caught myself laughing at something, then turning my head to look for him.
I was looking for him.
I wished at that moment I was still in the car holding on to my illusion that he still had a pulse and that God would hear my prayer.