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The lord has made the heavens his throne;

from there he rules over everything.

Psalms 103:19 NLT

An ordinary Friday afternoon. Two precious sweets tag along. A trip to Target for Operation Christmas Child. Pick up salsa and skinny pop. My favorite Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups.

A hair appointment for my monthly “maintenance.” (smile)

Dinner out. Salads, chicken fingers, sweet potato fries.

Ordinary. Beautiful. Sunny.

We squinted into the sun as we drove from place to place.

It was my first outing of the week that did not involve doctors, the scheduling of more tests.

So ordinary. Full of giggles and good times. Occupied with life and loving those we were blessed to be with, I never even heard my phone.

The many pings, signaling something was amiss.

Darkness and terror spreading an ocean away. An unholy act of violence taking place.

I did not check the page of news crawls taking up space.

Others were out. Shopping for Christmas. Attending the local football games. Eating dinner.

Doing every day, Friday evening, ordinary things.

The happenings around the world slip by unnoticed.

We turned into the driveway, I checked my phone, checking the time. Thinking ahead to the ahhh of sitting in my chair, blanket across my legs. The end of the day settling in.

My chin hit my chest at what I saw.

We settled in, in a most unsettled way, turned on the news and took it all in.

Fear gripping as we watched the screen.

The aftermath. The terror and the fear.

 Blood leaks and spreads across the ground.

Tears, they drip from Heaven.

It seeped like hours before we all realized what was going on and social media went into a frenzy.

I wanted to grab up every member of my family, have them close, just in case.

Sleep was elusive last night. Desperate prayers uttered through the night.

It was just an ordinary, everyday, Friday…until…the bombs and guns went off and blood was spilled.

You keep track of all my sorrows.

You have collected all my tears in your bottle.

You have recorded each one in your book.

Psalms 56:8

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn