Children, Generation Hug, Grrrls, Psalms


Today I got an email from LP during school hours, which seemed unusual. She titled it "Passing Time."

The school has been on lockdown since 9:30. We don't know why, but I'm sure we're okay because the principal made an announcement about ten minutes ago, telling the teachers to check their email. Everything seems to be under control. My whole math class is crammed into one corner of the room. I'm using my new netbook to write this. BORED. And hungry. And my feet hurt. My back is okay, though. Anyway, I love you!

The ordinary concerns of the day slipped into the background as I looked for news on the local paper's website. Suddenly I understood why there had been no answer when I called the high school, hoping to arrange an early pick-up for a doctor's appointment. 

I heard from her again.

The vice principal came in and searched us, but we're still on lockdown and don't know what happened.

Soon after, a friend posted the link to my Facebook page, explaining there had been a threatening note left on the wall of a bathroom–a specific threat, they called it–and Pure Luck called to report a robocall from the high school explaining the lockdown. 

I think the last lockdown they had at Downtown High School was on 9/11, when someone appeared to be brandishing a weapon in the general neighborhood, and it seemed like a good idea to keep everyone inside.

In both cases, it wasn't a real emergency. The person with a weapon didn't actually have a weapon. And today, after a thorough search, school officials found nothing. 

LP says they missed her backpack. I hope that wasn't just Goody Two-Shoes profiling, but an actual oversight. She also says the vice-principal was a nice lady who apologized for patting her down.

Most of the girls in high school these days aren't wearing anything bulky enough to conceal a weapon, in my humble opinion.

They let the kids out at 12:30 and sent them home. When we finally saw each other, and as we sat in the waiting room at the doctor's office, I asked how she was, really? It's hard not to imagine the worst case scenarios we've read about in other schools. Could there have been a student running around the halls with a gun? But LP said that although she imagined the bad things, she had a sense that her life was not over, that she had more things to learn and do, that it would not end this day.

In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.

In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me.

Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.

For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.

Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you. (Psalm 71:1-6)

There are several people in my general circle of church and friends in a kind of lockdown right now, holding for more information, feeling inspected or searched, wondering just what the future will hold. When I read a Psalm like the one above, I don't fall back into a child-like belief that God will rescue me just because I am a good girl. I know too much for that, now. But I do feel the comfort of knowing that on a day when I am crammed into a corner, crowded by others, waiting to hear the outcome, wondering what lies beyond the door, I am not the first person to talk her way through it by calling on God. 

3 thoughts on “Lockdown”

  1. I’m so glad that the precautions your local school took became more of a drill than a real situation, and that LP is ok and not totally freaked out. There were lockdowns in schools around the country today for a variety of reasons. It’s scary how many!
    I think you have been talking to my spiritual director. This is similar to the words I used to describe my spiritual life just this morning. She said she thinks I am writing psalms on my heart until they are ready to emerge. I like the way you put it too, about wondering what lies beyond the door. I am grateful that I am not as unique as I’d feared.

  2. What strange times we live in.
    I wonder what the writers in OT times would make of today.
    And isn’t it amazing how the Psalms still comfort and support.
    Maybe the times aren’t really all that different after all. Just the trappings.
    Glad your daughter is all right.

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