Would I Say It With a Gun to My Head?

Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, Oregon. Thursday, October 1, 2015. Nine people murdered. Christians targeted. Here are the questions I asked myself when I first heard about the shootings.

Would I say it with a gun to my head?

Would I say it with strength?

With regret?

Would I say it so only Jesus could hear?

Would I say anything at all?

I am there:

The one beside me falls,

with words that take her

to the Father,

to His arms

where His purposes all

make sense.

But here, HERE, it is horrific.

Blasts and blood; insanity reigns.

And now — it is my time.

His question comes,

but I won’t say it.

I want to live.

No senseless death —


leave me with black memories


wounds that won’t heal


evil eyes that darken my dreams.

I look down, knowing that

God forgives.

But, wait —

There it is!

an uprising,

a rebellion against my dispirited soul.

My heart pounds, and I tremble, yet I


I am deathly afraid,

but I do not fear


“Yes, I am a Christian”

and Jesus is near.

Would I say it with a gun to my head?

Mysterious, Sovereign God,

Only You know what my answer will be.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, 

for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

The Holy Bible, Psalm 23:4

(Originally published in 2015)

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