Among the Hunted

ahmama

 

wwudeer2

 

My first time ever
seated next to my mother
in a movie theater, just
a skinny four year old girl
practically folded up in half
by a large padded chair
whose seat won’t stay down,
bursting with anticipation
to see Disney’s Bambi.

Enthralled with so much color,
motion,  music, songs and fun
characters, I am wholly lost
in a new world of animated
reality when suddenly
Bambi’s mother looks up,
alarmed,  from eating
a new clump of spring grass
growing in the snow.

My heart leaps
with worry.
She tells him
to run
for the thicket,
the safest place where
she has always
kept him warm
next to her.

She follows behind,
tells him to run faster,
not to look back,
don’t ever look back.

Then the gun shot
hits my belly too.

My stomach twists
as he cries out
for his mother,
pleading for her.
I know in my heart
she is lost forever,
sacrificed for his sake.

I sob as my mother
reaches out to me,
telling me not to look.
I bury my face
inside her hug,
knowing Bambi
is cold and alone
with no mother
at all.

My mama took me home
before the end.
I could not bear to watch
the rest of the movie 
for years.

Those cries
still echo
in my ears
every time someone hunts and shoots
to kill the innocent.

Now, my own children are grown,
my mom is gone from this earth,
I can even keep the seat from folding
me up in a movie theater.

I return Sunday after Sunday
to the killing fields of the church pew
knowing mothers and fathers
sons and daughters
grandmothers and grandfathers
sisters and brothers
and babies were hunted down
inside the supposed safety
of the sanctuary,
taken from the warmth of the human thicket
where we hold each other close.

Their cries echo in my ears
where there is no longer innocence.

 

wwudeer1

Support for the Barnstorming Blog

Your financial support keeps this blog a daily offering and ad-free. A one-time contribution helps greatly.

$10.00

10 thoughts on “Among the Hunted

  1. This post made me weep. I’m trying to just live in the moment and not be so afraid but every day it gets harder. I don’t understand any of this senseless violence. I don’t understand how shooting complete strangers is a choice people make. For what purpose I ask you? What in their minds tells them this is any kind of a solution? I don’t want to be afraid to go to the grocery store or to take my grandkids to the library or go to the movies with my husband but I am. I keep going about my life and doing these normal everyday things but I am afraid. Yes. I am.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for this powerful post Emily. We need to cling to the hope and beauty shown in your photos, and know there are good people like you out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems an absurdity to bring children into this world out of love, when such a world is so accustomed to hate; until we recall that God, too, out of love for us, sent into this world His only Son to undergo the same worldly hate.
    In the end it is love alone that will overcome hate; it is good that will defeat evil. By the victory of the cross life and love is eternally secured. And in that there is a truth, which is; that children are not loved and lost but are one day found in the place God has prepared for them with Him.
    -Alan

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dear Emily,
    I search for words to express the effect of the outpouring of deep crushing sorrow and pain shared by you and by your readers in their comments today. The pathos, the reality of what we all are describing — and feeling – in our souls and in your guts is palpable, It is emotionally and spiritually healthy that we have this blessed forum as a place to voice our feelings and our thoughts and thus share mutual consolation and sense of community – as the One Body that we are.

    All that I have read so far on your posting today, plus the news accounts and personal interviews re the latest tragedy of human depraved horror are resonating within me and have brought me to an inward stunning silence and aching sorrow at the unrestrained pernicious evil that is encompassing every corner, every facet of our world, closer and closer to our homes, schools, places of employment, open arenas, sacred ground of our worship sanctuaries, with each mindless indiscriminate assault. All I seem to do is to try to bury the continuing (real) nightmares deep down into my soul, asking our compassionate God the overriding question that we all have: WHY? WHY/ WHY? He knows the answer(s) because He knows the human heart – he created it as a mirror of his love for us. He sent Jesus, as God Incarnate, the Christ, to demonstrate and to assure us of that love. He taught us by His own life how to emulate that love for all humanity, for all Creation. For millennia, decades, each day, we seem to be so overwhelmed, helpless, by the powerful forces of evil that engulf us, saturating our society with hatred of the ‘other,’ denial of God and all moral guideposts, worldwide genocide and carnage. The fact that we are becoming almost inured to the savagery and godlessness in our society is but a form of cumulative denial – blinders, a protective shield that we are using in an effort to preserve our sanity, our feeling of helplessness and doom, I think.

    After every act of barbarism, we hear the same advice from the same mental health ‘professionals;’ law enforcement; NRA and its supporters; our do-nothing, self-serving elected leaders in all branches of government; talking heads in our media (CNN, Fox News, etc.) — .all issuing lofty platitudes and solutions. Nothing changes. Nothing ever will change. The answer – the only answer is for us — all of us: Christian, non-Christian, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims — all who believe that there is an entity who created the immense, unknowable Universe, all life, all that we are and see:

    (1) TO FALL TO OUR KNEES (literally and figuratively) BEFORE WHOMEVER IT IS THAT WE NAME ‘GOD’ IN HUMBLE, REVERENT, TRUSTING SUPPLICATION, PRAYING, PLEADING FOR HELP TO CHANGE OUR SOMETIMES PROUD, SELFISH, UNSEEING, UNFEELING HEARTS AND ATTITUDES THAT HAVE FILLED US FOR SO LONG AND HAVE CREATED THE VOID, THE ENDLESS CHASM THAT IS BEING FILLED BY CLEVER, DETERMINED EVIL FORCES.

    (2) TO LISTEN, BELIEVE, ENABLE, PRACTICE AND PUT INTO ACTION, THE ANSWER(s) THAT WE RECEIVE FROM GOD.

    It is very possible (probable) that our listening, compassionate God has been waiting – and waiting – for us to turn to Him because we have exhausted all humanistic ideas and solutions and can no longer afford to wait, to avoid seeking His solutions. He did it once through His Son, Jesus. He would be pleased to remind us again about the particulars of that Message -then and now. Walled, impenetrable souls and frozen hearts are His specialty….

    I thank the Holy Spirit every day for Emily; for her blog, rich in wisdom and visual beauty; and for what is shared by her readers and those who make comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you all for your comments today; they are balm to our wounded spirits as we grieve so many lost for no reason other than evil still lurks in the human heart.

    We kneel and beg for mercy. We cry out for our Father. We weep for the children.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.