Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"They know what those sounds mean . . ."

Wednesday is here; thanks for visiting Gotta Sing Gotta Pray.

This morning at my spin class at the gym, I spent the hour spinning my 52 year-old legs round and round on the bicycle, all the while spinning the Hail Mary's, the Our Father's, and the Glory Be's, as I prayed decade after decade of the rosary. The focus of my prayer this morning was for the family of a young girl killed here in Chicago last night. Here is a snippet from the news story:

"A young girl was killed and her cousin was injured as they jumped rope when gunfire erupted Tuesday in Roseland. The two girls—Tanaja Stokes and Ariana Jones—were shot by two men on bicycles about 7:55 P.M. near Indiana and 107th, according to relatives. Tanaja was killed. "They know what those sounds mean. And they know to run. But [Tanaja] didn't get a chance to run," said Minnie Wise, the girls' cousin.

Chicago has seen more than its share of senseless violence over the past few years. Innocent children, like Tanaja, become the victims too often. When I read the news report, it was the words of Minnie that really struck me, the words referring to the sound of gunfire: "They know what those sounds mean, And they know to run." Can you imagine what it is like growing up and one of the things that you need to be taught is to run when you hear "those sounds?"  They were taught the things that you and I were taught growing up as well; how to be kind, how to make your own bed, how to get dressed for school, how to brush your teeth, how to fix your hair, how to focus on your homework, how to help put away the groceries, how to jump rope. And, how, when you hear "those sounds," you gotta run.

This is just plain sad, folks. I don't know what else I can do but pray at this time of pain for this family and for this suffering city of Chicago.

Please take a moment out of your day, perhaps right at this moment, and close your eyes and pray for Tanaja Stokes and her family.

Although it's difficult at times, we gotta sing and we gotta pray.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Definitely praying today for these girls and their families and for all communities plagued with violence. Yesterday, in the district where my police officer husband works, a man who robbed a bank and fled ended a police chase by pulling over and ending his own life with a gunshot to his head. I can't stop thinking about what may have led this man to commit the robbery, flee, and then take his own life. How did he fall so far, get so off course? I pray that somehow now he has found peace and forgiveness from a merciful God. I also pray for officer on the call, who, in the course of his already dangerous job had a day become even sadder, even more violent, even more shocking. I pray he doesn't feel guilt for pursuing the suspect nor suffer nightmares about how it all ended. And most of all, I pray for a future someday where these horrible things never happen and for the grace and strength to do my part to be just a little kinder, a little more tolerant, and a little more understanding in my own interactions so that peace can grow, even just in my own insulated world.