Saturday, April 24, 2010

Beautiful Violence

I have seen many things in my life that have taken my breath away. Sights that have given me hope, filled me with joy, and touched my heart. No experience I have ever had moved me the way yesterday did. 

A line of vehicles hundreds of feet long, packed and strapped all over with all manner of supplies, so dense with items that no one car had more than two people in it. They all had the hard look of people who had been through much, the deep lines around the eyes of folks who have spent a lot of time watching all corners of their world for threats. 

So imagine what it did for me to see the light suddenly bloom behind those thousand yard stares. It was beautiful beyond any description. Many of them wept openly at first sight of the compound, the work going on here, the tantalizing hints of normal life. 

And they bring children. Many of them are families, finding the strength to survive in each other. And all of them made the choice to come here. 

It was altogether another experience to see them fight off the large horde of zombies that followed them in. They had been picking them off for a while, and when they pulled up, we were all ready. 

You can say you know someone for any number of reasons. Time spent together, long time friendships, ideas shared late at night after your passion is spent. But no act compares to the bittersweet dance of violence in the name of survival. Once you join in the motions of death with a person for the purpose of mutual survival, you reach an understanding that cannot be matched. 

They are here now, and are doing their best to blend into our home. We are having some serious talks about some recent decisions around here, and doing what we can to reassure. It's stressful, but good. Most of us have redoubled our hope for the future with so many people joining us. The feeling that we are truly building something, an organic thing that grows and changes, is strong. 

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