Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
CLACKAMAS, Ore. - In the chaos of the shooting spree Tuesday at Clackamas Town Center, several people stayed with Cindy Ann Yuille, 54, who was shot and died at the scene.
Retired emergency room nurse Joan Smith of Milwaukie, Ore., was one of the people who worked to revive Yuille after shots rang out.
She said she wanted the family to know that Cindy was cared for until she passed away. "We had to stay with her," she said, even though it was unknown at the time where the shooter was or if they were safe.
This has been a difficult week. We will never forget the senseless crime of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting. What a tragedy. There was also a mall shooting at Clackamas Town Center in Oregon, near my old stomping grounds, in which two people were killed. When I was in high school, Clackamas Town Center was newly built and I had to transfer buses there. Many times my classmates and I would go in the mall for a quick snack at the food court where the murders took place. It's so sad to think about.
Earlier this week, I dealt with someone whose family member had threatened suicide. The family member was not in a safe place and thankfully we were able to get this family some help. It has weighed on my heart. I've also thought about the Impostor Blog and the difficult exchanges we've had on the Wartburg Blog. It has been uncomfortable and has opened old wounds for me and also for some who have contacted me privately. I am putting up some personal boundaries on that issue because I need to live life and enjoy the beauty around me: my family, friends. Please consider doing the same if you are getting triggered.
I saw this news clip about two kind-hearted individuals who stayed with shooting victim, Cindy Ann Yuille, until she passed away. This is what a victim's family would want to know: did she die alone? Cindy Ann Yuille did not die alone. Two brave individuals, Joan Smith and Tony Charro, risked their lives while the shooter was still on the loose to attend a precious human being as she breathed her last breaths. Even though they did not know this woman, they respected her, they cared for her, they demonstrated love to her and did not want her to be alone. What a precious gift they gave.
I see that happening here as we share abuse stories. One of the scariest things that abuse survivors feel is the feeling of being alone. When I shared stories about the challenges of being single in the church, a common response was: we feel so alone. The love and support you show one another here - complete strangers - is wonderful. I want to be intentional in my love and support of others who are going through difficulties and struggles.
I don't ever want to lose the aspect of that beautiful gift God has given us - the gift of relationships, the gift of encouragement, care, and support. Thank you for supporting me behind the scenes this week. You know who you are.