Last Wednesday, Velvet Verbosity published the word for the 100 Word Challenge. The word was "Tragic". I wrestled with that word - I racked my brain - but I just drew a blank. Understand, I am more than familiar with things Tragic. In my life, I have seen way too much tragedy. But I could NOT, for the life of me, put my mind to the 100 Word Challenge. Or at least, I wasn't able to formulate anything that made any sense.
I was so beaten by this word I didn't publish a Sunday post at 12:01 AM like I always do. I decided to sleep on it, instead.
Sunday morning came and I still didn't know what I was going to do - but I thought that if I couldn't come up with a 100 Word response I would just leave Saturday out there and call it a day. The Saturday post would just have to do for the weekend.
I went into the office at 11:30AM to do some preliminary work I needed to get done, before I got started on the serious stuff at 3:00PM. And at 1:00PM I called the guy from the vendor. I was going to work with this guy, by phone from Maryville, Illinois, to get the cutover to the new storage system done. When he answered the phone I could hear in his voice that something was wrong.
He told me that he wasn't going to be able to work with me, that there was another guy, a local guy, who was expecting my call. The local man would work with me to get it done. I asked him what was wrong. He told me that his pastor had been shot three times, and killed. During services. During the sermon. In front of his congregation.
I was stunned. And speechless. I stumbled and stuttered for a minute and finally gathered my wits and started to mumble something about how I couldn't believe such a thing could happen.
I told him how sorry I was and that I would let him go - I told him I knew he had other things on his mind, oh God did he have other things on his mind, and I knew there were things to take care of and I thanked him for taking the time to tell me about what had happened. We hung up and I tried to digest what I had just been told.
I wrote my 100 Word Challenge in less than five minutes. It's the saddest thing I've done in a long time. I wasn't sure it was appropriate - I hesitated before hitting publish. I felt, in a strange way, a little guilty about it. But I also felt like I knew why I hadn't been able to write it sooner.
If you haven't read it, it's here.