From our visit last month….
It brings tears to my eyes. It’s why I put off writing about my visit. The energy there is vivid. Not from the memories of the dead. Not from the point of impact. But from the pain of the living. From the wound in a people.
When I go, I don’t want to hear talks and I don’t want to talk to anyone myself. I just want to sit, to experience, to be open, to feel and to pray.
The first time I visited the OKC Memorial, the kids were babies and I was unprepared. I hadn’t even crossed the street yet when the impact of the wall hit me.
“Why are all the pretty barrettes pinned to the fence Mommy?”
I pushed the umbrella stroller along the path, preschooler tagging along in hand, barely able to hold on, as she reached for necklaces, toys, and ribbons.
We rounded the corner to the chalk paths. It was a Sunday, right after the local churches had let out. Families gathered around. And we stood and watched as children wrote and drew pictures with tears in their eyes.
The wall is more sparse now, compared to the wall when I brought my two babies that Sunday. But amidst the more recently dedicated items, I still recognized some of the aging toys, jewelry and things pinned to the fence from so long ago. And my daughter did too.
There are messages this place shares that are beyond words. Feelings that can’t be labeled. Images that tap the core.
It’s a humbling place, of reverence and respect. A quiet temple of sanctuary and hope.
And yet a wall…..