Why? Were they chosen? Did they have a feeling? Did the attacker know what he was doing? Did he know the pain that would be caused by him? Did he even have a heart? Did he abandon his loved ones? Did he HAVE loved ones? Does he know the damage he caused? The fact that someone decides to punish others because of their choice of worship is inhuman. You shouldn’t judge others. Never judge their actions or words because you can never know the whole story. However, this man not only judged a whole group of people, but killed them without even knowing what he was doing. He didn’t know the families he ripped apart. He didn’t know that father that lost a daughter, or the son that lost a mother. He was the cause of unspeakable pain and shattered hearts.
How would I have felt in that situation? If a loved one was gone? If the person next to me was wounded or killed, and I was still alive? How would it have changed it to me? What would if it was me who was injured or killed? How would my loved ones have reacted? LA Times wrote an article about the Tawil family. As I was reading something, one fact jumped out at me. The man who lost his daughter and wife, and the son who couldn’t help but hold his sister as she took her last breath was holding a girl with my name. A girl who shared the same name as me, yet I haven’t even known she existed until today. It reminded of my family and me. Like my family, the Tawil family consisted of four people: a father, mother, son, and daughter. That could have been my family.
As I hear all the stories of those whose hearts are bleeding, and their families ripped apart, I know that nobody is safe. Nowhere. Church is the safest place I have ever known. The intimacy I have with my church community is not like any other. It made me realize that I was never safe. I could be just standing thinking about what I would be having for lunch, and then the next second I could be somewhere else. It is hard to think that all those people at the St. Paul and St. Peter had lives. Many could have had plans for after mass that they couldn’t follow through. Many could have had promises they hadn’t fulfilled, or dirty dishes in the sink. They each had a story. They each had a life. They each made a decision.