Living in The Shadows of Disasters–From A Texas Coffee Shop

The week of April 15, 2013 will long burn in the  psyche of the American fabric as a week of living in the shadows of disasters.

The crowd at The Steak Angus on Thursday, April 17, 2013.

The crowd at The Steak Angus on Thursday, April 17, 2013.

It’s Thursday, finally, and so many horrific events have happened in the past week here in North Texas and around the nation. The mood this morning while sitting at The Steak Angus seems changed. Yes, Thursdays usually are their slow mornings, but this morning feels different.

When I came in this morning, a table sat in a window seat corner with The Dallas Morning News spread out aimlessly on the floor around the booth. The table was disheveled and uncleaned.

The atmosphere was somber.  Dan Godwin‘s unusually calming, tempered words from KDFW FOX-4 TV were echoing across the room as he continued to describe the carnage being discovered as a result of the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion from last night.

Patrons sat, mostly facing the flat screens on the walls above almost as though in shock still of all that’s transpired locally and nationally the past week.

The Carnage of the Week

Mixed also in the news today is new information about the Kaufman County DA, his wife, and assistant DA’s murders, which took place less than 30 miles from where I now sit.

The concussion from the West, Texas fertilizer plant, some 80 miles away, caused a noted pressure change in the patio and front door of the apartment last night.

Fifteen minutes later, my daughter Haley witnessed an evil person in Hunt County aim for our Sheltie, McKenzie, as he had become want to chase cars. They hit him. Haley, 13, saw it.  McKenzie rolled over, got up and started toward her and then collapsed to move no more.  The car sped off.

Monday, of course, was the Boston Marathon bombing attack. The memory of photos of people being wheeled to help with just a long bone extending out of their thighs and nothing else, no foot, no knee, no calf… all of that permanently burnt into the rods and cones of my mind’s eye.

Yesterday on Twitter became a lone bright spot in the week when Twitter users took CNN and John King to task for reporting in error that an arrest had been made in the case.

And then there was the whole deal about the idiot from Mississippi who allegedly sent threat letters to Dem President Obama and GOP Sen. Wicker. Bi-partisan targeted terrorism seems to be the theme of the week.

What’s Next?

I’ve learned over the past few years that’s never a good question to ask oneself.

Worth noting, and one of the first thoughts that came to mind about the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion was the fact that tomorrow, Friday, April 19, is the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombings.  The prime ingredient in that explosion?  Fertilizer. It sounds like a fire started at the plant before the explosion, so I’m no longer concerned about that, but the worry of what nut might be planning something for tomorrow is ever there.

And I think that’s what I’m seeing as I scan the restaurant right now.  Eyes remain focused in blank stares at the TV set as bumper-to-bumper programing remains the norm here in North Texas.

I made mention to a close friend this morning that the Devil roams the earth like a lion seeking out the lambs of our Lord, waiting to strike.  It’s been a good week for the lion, and a bad one for sheep, save for the fact that our Lord now holds so many people closer to his heart and regardless of political affiliations, more people are calling on the Lord this Thursday than they were at the beginning of the work week.

You’d think the evil one would have realized such an inverse relationship by now and have figured out the more he seeks to pull us away from God in times of disaster, ultimately, the closer we get.


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