Midnight Gauntlet

Labyrinth Altar
Labyrinth altar at Forest of Peace. ©2016 Kristi Bridges

Pain leaves our ears ringing. Words of love, shouted, seem a challenge. 102 people shot, nearly half killed, and everything anyone said made somebody mad. Helplessness makes you want to grab a pitchfork and posse up, but then who do we jab? I couldn’t write Sunday. I had no blog to release Monday. The seams of my heart gapped with ghosts I couldn’t rescue, stitches straining to hold the tears of a world that cries for those shot but also for the overwhelming experience of being human.

It is not okay to kill.

It is not alright to take lives because people don’t live the way you want them to. While we are on this earth, we have choices. God Himself gave us permission to make those choices, and unless we’re actively hurting someone else, those choices belong to us.

It is not alright to take lives. Life is sacred.

Life is sacred, but it doesn’t stay trapped in these bodies forever. The taking is not ours to do, and I am not backing down on that. Period.

But anguish makes us angry. We lash out at each other and then at God. If God is bigger than Superman, why doesn’t He stop us?

I am incomplete


incompetent at sharing what comes only from survival and faith, but before I am incapacitated by the fear that speaking will just turn up the gas on rage’s fire, I’m writing tonight.

There is not one person alive today who lived 1,000 years ago. I wish, I ache to give people back their loved ones for one more year, ten more years. More than that, I long to turn back time and snatch the heart of each person who’s grabbed a weapon in my lifetime. I would hold them and wipe away the scar tissue so the eyes of those hearts could see their Creator and Savior. I can’t do any of those things. Whether we go in one violent moment, one careless accident, one high too many, or in years of suffering and fading away…

We go.

We go.

We need to know God understands the horror. Our bodies are built to fight death, and our souls are built to love past that ultimate breath.

We cry out.

We dry up.

We stay.

We stay long after we want to. Until the day spring doesn’t sour on our tongues and we’re able to fold the pain into a box and tuck it into a drawer because our loved ones deserve to be remembered with the joy that nudges our spirits.

We stay. Here is where words can never paint what I can’t explain to anyone who’s in winter right now, or to anyone who hasn’t squinted in the sun after wandering in the dark.

Life is sacred, not because it’s safe. Life is sacred, because in those places, those dark confusing lonely places where we howl and cry and smack our fists against the walls, an open heart finds strength, a trusting heart finds deeper faith, a heart that sought safety finds valiance. Survivors of the midnight gauntlet find that sunrise goes beyond our eyes into our souls.

God is eternal. We are eternal. He wants more than to keep us swaddled; He made us for a relationship that is strong enough to outlive these shells. Relationships become strong when mates mature and fight together instead of fighting each other. There is evil on this earth—God’s never tried to hide it from us. Sometimes He protects us. Other times He walks us through.



Rest. When you don’t get what you’re asking, value relationship over demands. When the pain comes, hold tight the hand that made you and know life is sacred in this place.







4 thoughts on “Midnight Gauntlet

  1. Thank you for painting a word picture relatable to us all. Thank you, too, for reminding us that we have a Heavenly Father Creator that longs to have us lean on Him especially when we don’t understand.

    Liked by 1 person

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