Anyway, I was very intentional in the way I didn't allow myself to get sucked into all the details of the Brussels attack, although there was one detail that pierced me—a pair of siblings, brother and sister bound for New York City, on the phone with their mother while waiting in line to check in. They had called to let her know they'd arrived at the airport safely, and would see her when they landed. As they spoke, the mother heard a sudden roar, like a crashing wave, and then the phone went dead. The terror and torment she must have felt as she waited for news haunted me, but I didn't give in to it—until this morning. It has now been confirmed that her two children died in the Brussels airport explosions. I doubled over, imagining her grief.
The script arrived with a handwritten notation, "Emergency stand-by Jesus," which amused me, because my husband is definitely a man you'd want to have on emergency stand by. As I listened to the dramatic reading of events leading up to the crucifixion that forever changed the history of our world, I was absorbed by the players standing in moody shadow on the altar. I was thinking somewhat irreverently how handsome I find the man I'd married, a rooted presence at center stage, in jeans and sneakers and red polo shirt and tweed jacket, taller and bigger than everyone else, a man you could dare to lean on.
And then suddenly I was thinking of that mother again, her children lost to her in a shattering blast, their lives turned to ash in a moment. My eyes fell to a page in the Book of Common Prayer that lay open on my lap. It was the reading up next, Psalm 22, and my eyes landed on these words:
I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are out of joint
My heart is like wax, melting inside me.
It's a good description of how it feels when the protective bubble pops, and the world with all its blood and horror presses in.
So I looked back up from the prayer book, and kept my eyes on the man.