I ran to get my cell phone and picked it up with shaking hands to text my son. He, thoughtful and smart young man that he is, had a message waiting for me already, "Don't worry I'm safe". I didn't care about the lack of punctuation. I could breathe again. He texted back that the shots were fired near the other side of the campus and that he was tucked in his dorm room. I'm growing to like my cell phone better and better.
A thousand thoughts stampeded through my mind as the clock ticked past two. "What if?" was a biggie, although I usually don't allow myself to indulge in that kind of wallowing. Someone once told me that once you have a child you spend the rest of your life wearing your heart outside of your body, and it's true. One Face Book friend said she would be half-way to Cleveland by now and transfer her kid to a school within twenty-five miles of home. I responded with two words: Boston Marathon. There is no protecting them once they hit the air. From the womb to the tomb all we can do is cover them in prayers and hang on for the ride.
As it turned out, no college students were involved. There were two "juveniles", one of whom shot the other in the thigh at a park near campus. Why are "juveniles" out at one o'clock? Why does one of them have a gun? And I am so grateful to God that those are the only "whys" I have to ask this time. So many parents aren't as lucky.