Whenever people come into our neighborhood, we tell them if they hear gunfire to hit the floor. It is one of those things that sounds like a no-brainer, but it is surprising how non-instinctual it can actually be. I’ll be honest, though, and admit that I do not get down on the floor every time. Some of that is probably because we are in a second floor apartment, but more than that it is a level of confidence in discerning when gunfire is actually close enough to warrant that response.
Last night I hit the floor. Thankfully the kids were sleeping, and Doug and I were sitting up watching a movie in the living room when the shots rang out. They were loud and very close, and I crawled over to my desk and reached for the phone to dial 911. We didn’t hear any car tires squealing and there were no screams, but we did hear the response team come and they did not leave quickly.
I don’t know much about guns, but I know that the kind fired last night was the same as the one that fired the rounds of seemingly endless shots one night this past summer. This sound, this particular gun, scares me a lot. Last night I dreamt about walking down Raymond with Aaron and passing a man holding a large gun. Realizing what I had seen, I crouched down behind a car and held my son close. I woke this morning with the heaviness of that dream still clutching after me.
We spent a good portion of our day today in Santa Monica with our dear friends who just had a baby, and it was one of those days where the miracle and majesty of life just gets in your face and all you can do is marvel at it. Our church is renewing our commitment to the youth of our community in some exciting ways right now, and I am grateful for the chance to be a part of that answer to the echoes of hopelessness heard far too often on our streets.