Suburbia & Shootings

“Smell! Do you smell that?” 
We were standing at the open deck door, our toes hanging
over the white edge. He sniffed fiercely, his tiny shoulders rising with the
“Rain! Doesn’t it smell good?” 
The wind blew droplets into our faces and we inhaled the
moist earthy scent of rain. Hints of hot wet asphalt mixed with the fresh
promise of clean. When water started puddling onto our dining room floor, I
grinned and closed the door for a while. An evening of rain soaked the silent suburban
This morning I drink coffee soberly and ponder street-side
shootings. A new friend of mine mourns her twenty-six year old step-daughter at
a funeral right now. 
I met my friend three weeks ago at a wooded women’s retreat.
Seven women from the inner-city joined seven or eight of us from the suburbs.
Together we shared stories and photos of our children. We talked about our
marriages, opening wide, being accountable, and looking into God’s word for
guidance. We prayed, sang, laughed and ate together. In a large screened-in
cabin, we swatted bugs, peeked over bunk beds to hear each other, and laughed
at late-night tirades. 
My friend spoke of her upcoming wedding at the end of this
month, and paged through wedding magazines. Her daughters were to be part of
the ceremony. 
This last week, though, an armed assailant walked into their home,
shot her daughter, and left. No one knows why or whom. Neighborhood vigils, grief-stricken
parents, and news anchor bits culminate in today’s funeral. 
I’m too new and didn’t have all the information right away
so I’m here at home, praying for her, aching with her, and feeling uncomfortably quiet in my safe suburban home. 
I traced down her phone number, and corrected the wrong
email address I had for her. Soon, I hope to go and sit with her, hugging her,
and aching quietly beside her. 
Will you join me in
praying for my friend Christina? Thanks. How can I pray for you this week? 

Linking with Imperfect Prose

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  1. Unknown on June 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    That is so heart-wretching. It's so hard to know what to do when a mother loses a child, especially tragically. I will pray a pray for wisdom for you and opportunity's to comfort. Stopping by from imperfect prose.

  2. Tiffany on June 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    My heart aches for your friend. I cannot begin to imagine the pain she must be enduring. I'll be praying for her and that she will find some measure of peace.
    Stopping by from imperfect prose.

  3. Jennifer Dougan on June 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm


    Thank you for that prayer for wisdom and for opportunities. Yes…

    Thanks for stopping over.


  4. Jennifer Dougan on June 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm


    Thank you for stopping by and for praying with me for my friend Christina.


  5. Cheryl Barker on June 7, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I can't imagine the horror of such a loss. I am praying for Christina now.

    Jennifer, please pray for my 1-month old great-nephew who developed a racing, irregular heartbeat and is now in serious condition in the hospital, intubated and sedated. Please pray for his complete recovery and for peace and strength for his parents and all his family. Thank you!

  6. Pam on June 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    I will pray for her, yes.

    Lord, what can we say to someone in this hour? Help Jennifer to be your arms around her friend. Pour out your Holy Spirit on her and through her…and fall on this family to let them know you know their tears most of all… In all the ways they need your strength and comfort, meet them with your peace.

  7. dawn on June 8, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Praying for Christina and you. I was not expecting your post to go where it has but isn't that the exact shock of it. No one expects these horrors. I am so sorry to here and yet know God will use you to bring hope somehow. Or just a shoulder and ear to listen with heart. Please pray I would walk closely with Him so I am able to pray continuously…be available, not hindered, distracted or weighed down by sin.
    In His Grace, Dawn

  8. Mommy Emily on June 8, 2012 at 3:58 am

    oh my goodness. definitely praying…

  9. LOLITA on June 8, 2012 at 5:12 am

    The peace of the suburb has been ruined by a sound of a shot.

    Lord, where we are, we need Your protection. Evil lurks even inside the home. We pray for comfort for Christina over the meaningless loss. Only your strength and peace could cover her in her grief right now. And we pray that you will use Jen to extend that fortitude to her right now and give her the opportunity to minister, dear Father, In the name of Jesus.

  10. tandemingtroll on June 9, 2012 at 3:06 am

    I will be praying for your neighbor and her family, that God will restore a sense of peace and security in their house and for you as you minister to her. Wow! Talk about being thrown into the fire.

    For me, pray for God to help me be even more bold as I talk to my neighbors and that I would be able to give him situations in the past where I have been hesitant to speak. Also, pray for my dad and brother, for their salvation.

  11. Jennifer Dougan on June 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Thank you for stopping by and for praying with me for Christina. I join you this weekend too in praying for your great-nephew. May his heart rate slow to a healthy speed, may his condition improve drastically, and may his parents sense our Abba's huge love for and presence around them today. Amen.


  12. Jennifer Dougan on June 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm


    Yes, thank you, friend, for praying with me here aloud. Amen!


  13. Jennifer Dougan on June 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Hi Dawn at Modern Day Disciple,

    Thank you for joining me here and praying with me for my friend. You said: "Please pray I would walk closely with Him so I am able to pray continuously…be available, not hindered, distracted or weighed down by sin.In His Grace, Dawn"

    –yes, me too. Father, may we walk closely with you, available, unhindered or distracted, and thank you that it is wholly, completely, only in your grace!

    "All's grace," as Ann Voskamp says, 🙂

  14. Jennifer Dougan on June 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Emily, Lolita,

    Thank you.


  15. Jennifer Dougan on June 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm


    Thank you.

    I'm joining you in prayer this morning for boldness, opportunities to share your life with your neighbors, and for your brother and father. Yes…


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