Friday, April 13, 2007

Story Convergence

I heard her story on NPR.

She probably has many stories.

But the one I heard.

It's the story that will never leave me. It's the story that makes me press my lips together, makes my eyes sting.

It's the story that rears up in my chest and screams when I hear Don Imus's Story.

When I hear his defenders. I feel sick.

She was five. She went with her daddy to a meeting. They drove home...a road through the woods. Then lights, torches, men shouting. Her father took a gun out of the glove box. Told her to hide on the floor of the truck. To hold the gun. Told her if anyone tries to get in the truck you pull that trigger.

He got out. She was five years old. Alone. Hiding. In a truck in the woods in the dark clutching a pistol hearing terrible violence all around.

The men at the meeting that she and her father had left, meanwhile, thought maybe it was too dangerous for her father to drive home alone on that deserted road with his young daughter. They came. The men beating her father fled. The men from the meeting led her bloody, wounded father away. Found her hiding. After a long time, her father recovered from the terrible beating he'd received.

This woman. She is a contemporary leader. This happened in modern times. Here. In our own United States. And it's just one story. Not so rare.

The people in this story are our grandparents, our parents, us. It's a story that tells us who we are. Who we have been. Who we can be.

It is important to know this.

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