Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Warmth of the Sanctuary

The snow is blowing as I zip up my fleece jacket. Even though it only takes me a few seconds to go from the house to the church I make sure the fleece is zipped up to my chin. I fumble with the keys for a moment, trying to find the right one because I hardly ever unlock the side door. Once inside I turn on the lights for the rotunda. Everything around looks so festive and cheery, the Christmas tree is the center piece of the rotunda as the manger and candles are of the sanctuary. It is nice and warm and off comes the fleece jacket.

I sit in the area just back of the sanctuary and stare at the blue candles still on the altar table. A blue candle for each year of Tanners, Alexanders and Andrews life. The little blue candles number twenty in total. That means twenty one total years is the span of life for three wonderful and fun loving little boys. It has been close to a week since they were last seen playing in the back yard.

The entire town seems weighed down by a haunting and heavy sense of dread. The words from the authorities that, "this situation is not going to end the way anyone would want," seem to sap the hope and spirit from every person I talk with. Fathers and Grandpa's deal with feelings of anger and helplessness and I am right next to them. If I close my eyes and see my three, Allie age 9, Ayden age 7 and Avery age 3, I can only think of them for a split second before tears or anger show up.

So, I sit in the church and try to be helpful, answering the phone and allowing folks to come in for a few moments of silence and tranquility. I know what feeling helpless is like, it has been my portion for the past few years more than I would like to admit. In a couple of hours I will zip up my fleece jacket up to my chin and walk to the house, the warmth will embrace me and the fleece will come off. Not to many miles from me a father reveals his cold heart and Tanner, Alexander, and Andrew are probably.......

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