THE MORNING Ellie Long
California Lutheran University Thousand Oaks, CA
After the shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA
The chapel overfills today. Children no longer children squeeze into the aisles in sweatshirts and pajama bottoms. Cling to each otherâ€™s hands in prayer, creating the God they need now. They listen to the man behind the altar who is no pastor today but the bearer of bad news. He tells them dryly who they have lost. Someone cries out and a shudder goes through the sanctuary which has never borne the weight of so many tears, salt sinking into the oak of the pews, corroding it, warping it in a way it will not recover from. Eleven hours of praying to the television set for signs of life have ended here. Hands clasped over mouths, numb shadows in bedrooms and empty parking lots. Evacuation the least of concerns. Shattered phones on the dance floor stop ringing.