Santa Cruz, July 28th, 2015 Sitting here at the Tannery Arts Center, it's quiet. The occasional person walks by and there is acknowledgement, a nod of the head, a faint and polite smile . . . no one quite sure what to do, how to feel, how to react to the horrific events that took place here this week. I am going through a roller coast of emotions, the pendulum swinging pretty far and wide . . . in so many directions, deep sadness, anger, confusion, despair . . . appreciation, gratitude, love, compassion.Tears come easily, friends supporting each other, simply being present.My mother has said to me so many times, "You will never understand what it is like to be a mom." And now I am filled with such a deep sense of loss, sadness, heart-broken, horrified . . . I cannot even conceive the pain and suffering that Maddy's mother must be experiencing.Why is it that it hurts so much these times when we connect most deeply with our humanity? Time slows to a crawl. The lump in the throat remains while the smiling facade greets the passers-by.Trying to carry on business as usual . . . but it is not.BreezeThis beautiful poem was placed alongside of a typewriter at the spontaneous memorial site for Maddyson "Maddy" Middleton who was murdered last Sunday at the Santa Cruz Tannery Arts Center. Our city grieves this week, and today I will be meeting with a number of local pastors to pray about and discuss what we can do to redemptively enter into this tragedy to provide some hope and healing. In large measure, we are a city that has committed ourselves to our flight from God (this includes the many believers who are all too happy to embrace a "Jesus-insurance plan" for eternity with no interest in Jesus' call to discipleship under His Lordship in every area of life), our individualized project of constructing the life we want for ourselves on our terms without Him, and this leads to tragic results. It's my prayer that God will use this loss, and our collective pain, to turn us back toward Him to experience His great compassion and mercy. Pray for the city of "Holy Cross" - Santa Cruz.