SHAW: I’m standing before you this morning with a very troubled heart. You see, my friends, as your minister, I should be helping you to find the joy in your lives; last night I realized that I haven’t been doing that. After all, we all remember that terrible night five years ago when the lives of four young people ended on the Potawney Bridge. Everyone in this community lost someone that night – a child, a neighbor, a friend. I –Vi and I – we lost our son.
(He looks to his family.)
Ariel lost her brother. Now, somehow I got into my head that my loss was the greatest. That my pain was the deepest. And then, last night, someone much younger than I made me realize how tightly I had been holding onto that memory. A memory that has weighed me down as surely as a great stone. And in that moment, I did something I haven’t done for a very long time: I laid down my burden. It was a terrifying moment. And it was exhilarating. This morning I offer you the same opportunity. (Beat.) The Senior Class of Bomont High School has asked permission to hold a dance. Ren, I think that might be a good idea. (The congregation reacts with muted jubilation.) Please join me in asking our Lord to guide and protect our children.