Now comes step two. People.
My husband opened the door to people before I expected it, before we were able to sit together with a leader and come to an agreement about what was to be said to who and how it was to be said. He is still not in this country, so today I am dealing with people.
I'm not ready to deal with people.
Emotionally, I just hanging on. I'm physically exhausted, and yet sleep does not come. I'm not eating well, and have lost 15 lbs in two weeks... trust me, I do not mourn their loss! ... but this is not helping me be strong right now. I am aware that I am a physical barrier of protection between my children who do not know and the greater community who does.
I'm just not ready to deal with people.
What was that we used to yell when we finished counting when we played hide and seek? "Ready or not, here I come!"
Ready or not, here they come. Three last night, late at night. Then two more this morning, and now one more message on my machine. I'm going to be charitable and assume the best - that all these people care deeply about us, about our family, and the situation. But they are not helping. I need those police who stand by and say, "keep moving" and "back off, give the paramedics some room". Where is the police tape when you need it? This is not a situation for well-wishers and funeral criers. This is a situation for well-trained, focused helpers organized under one clear leadership.
I appreciate people. I do. I need their prayers. I just do not need their questions. I don't even need their sympathy. It is amazing how fast the sympathy of others can get you to feel sorry for yourself. I do not need their guilt. I have enough guilt of my own without hearing their snap decisions on the matter. I stand before God - let Him convict or clear me, and let Him speak to me through the godly people He has put in authority over me right now, but not through the thronging crowd.
Yet, each one of these people represent friends, coworkers, church family, family. They are all people I love. I am aware that my failings have hurt them. I have disappointed them. I have shaken their feeling of security. On our team, we were leaders, and we have failed publicly. I know that people I love are hurt and confused. That hurts me. I am a carer, a comforter. I want to make them better. I can't. I can't even listen to their pain.
Then, the shame is coming. Going from being leaders to being the fallen. The bump at the bottom is a pretty hard one. I was already bruised before the fall. It is not an easy place to be. Humiliating.
We had a death in our extended team today - a sudden, unexpected death - someone gunned down senselessly. As a group we are hurting. And this has to be the day that our news breaks, too. I feel sad; sad that we dump two things on people at once. That the sorrow of mourning a coworker has to be contaminated by our failings, too.
I have determined two things.
One - the leader who is dealing with the problem is going to be the person dealing with the problem. So conversation about what happens and who knows what will happen through him, not through the waiting crowd. This is not trial by jury.
Two - I will not speak bad of my husband in the public. There are places for the truth, spoken simply, but that place is likely not to people not involved in the solution. I want to be a woman of grace and honor. That can be difficult in this situation, but I chose to honor my husband through this by controlling how publicly he is shamed. I do not need to answer every public accusation. God has promised to be my shield and defender and the lifter of my head.
I spent another night awake with God last night, crying. Not the throw yourself on the bed and sob type of crying, but the quiet sniffles. I am not unaccustomed to pain. My life has not necessarily been an easy one, so pain and I have become familiar with each other. But last night, I begged God to take this one away, to give me another pain in exchange. Just not this one.
God sat silent last night.
He sat and looked at me, silent. Not the unlistening type of silent, but the looking through me silence. Waiting for me to sit quietly, too. To still my heart. To stop looking around for the escape door or for ways to manipulate the situation. To still my heart and be ready to walk with Him through my day.
I'm quieter today.
And in the midst of the crowd of spectators, there are those quiet, godly people who have stepped forward. There are some areas they have stepped into with practical help and godly advice and encouragement. I have seen God's hand in bringing these people into the positions they are in for such a time as this. I'm deeply grateful for them.