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Praying with My Feet

How prayer walks connect me to the tragedy and joys of my neighborhood.
Praying with My Feet

In December of 2012, just a short drive from our Portland home, a young man of about 20 sneaked into a mall wearing a hockey mask and carrying a rifle. He glanced over a crowd of holiday shoppers, then took aim and killed a hospice nurse and a vendor selling hats. Another young lady died later. Witnesses said that everyone dropped their bags and scattered in terror while the sound of Bing Crosby's voice echoed through the mall. Nobody ever turned off the Christmas music. Santa was there too—hearing the shots, he lay down with the elves and pretended to be dead. The young man ran down the hallways with his heavy gun, dropping unused bullets, and shooting at shoppers. He ran and hid in a service hallway. Sitting down, he put the gun under his chin, took a deep breath, and killed himself.

That was a horrible day in Portland.

I visit that mall quite often with my family. My emotion was compounded by the fact that I have a vivid imagination. I could see in my mind's eye the spots ...

May/June
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