Where to begin? The city’s wounds were too fresh to articulate, too raw to bandage in a way that would begin the healing. And yet that’s what those expectant eyes seemed to seek.
Hours earlier, a lone gunman cruised the city and its outskirts, shooting eight people and killing six. There was no logic in the act, no connection. The shooter lacked clear motive. When captured, he offered no explanation.
It was a cruel cliffhanger for the victims’ families, friends and community. People were—and are—desperate for answers. Sadly, it may be weeks or months before they get them.
Fazio knew this. And yet there was this moment. Those emotions. Those expectant eyes.
He began to pray.
He spoke of the heartache. He spoke of the darkness. He spoke of the senselessness, the tragedy. Then he spoke of the sunshine streaming through the stained glass windows of the church, coloring the sanctuary in brilliant splashes of blues and reds, yellows and greens.
“What are we doing,” he asked in prayer, “to color our world?”
It was a powerful moment. Evil people do evil deeds. Some of us suffer directly. Yet there is a greater power, one that grants us the capacity to gather together to do something lasting, healing and loving.
I sat in the church balcony as Fazio prayed. As he spoke of coloring our world, I felt compelled to open my eyes.
What I saw took my breath away.
On the platform steps where Fazio stood, the sunlight cast a large red glow. My eyes traced the sunbeam back to the stained glass window through which it streamed. It was shining through the image of Jesus, passing directly through the blood-red sash across his heart.
As if his heart was broken. Just as ours were.
Broken hearts. Maybe that’s where healing begins.
Indeed, we must mourn. We must express our sorrow, our anger. We must share these things with others, hugging and crying and raging even as we hold each other up. Without grief, we can’t heal.
But we will heal. We will find restoration. We will find courage in the face of fear, humanity in the face of inhumanity.
And we will color our world.