Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stuck Between Floors

Once upon a time as the story goes there was a small hospital in Kansas. The electrical power shut down for some unknown reason. The elevator stopped between floors with a load of passengers.

One passenger clicked her cell phone to momentarily illuminate the elevator so they could see. Another passenger reached for the emergency phone. And another hoped that there would be enough signal on their cell phone so that she dial 911. It was getting hot. It was dark. The screeching sound of the alarm further jangled the nerves of the elevator's already tense passengers .

Suddenly, one of the men began to beat on the door. He shouted and hollered, and banged. It was hot, tense, and the man's actions made the small box feel smaller. Everyone tried to get him to calm down. The last thing they needed was someone losing it.

One of the hospital's employees tried to calm the man. "Help is on the way," he said.

But the man kept pounding and shouting.

"The hospital has a generator system," the employee said. "As soon as the maintenance man hooks up the generator system, we'll be able to get out of here. Try to remain calm. Power will soon be restored by the maintenance man and the elevator's doors will be open and everything will be alright. It won't be long."

The man stopped pounding on the door of the elevator and turned to the employee and said, "but I am the maintenance man."

Life has a way of making us feel like we're suddenly trapped between floors and there's no way out. My life the past month has been surreal. I've traveled with a team of Christians to the Middle East. I rode a camel at the Pyramids in Egypt. THE Pyramids. We've enrolled Allie in a great school and it feels like the Charming and Beautiful Susan and I have been given our lives back. And a long awaited court case concerning the horrific abuse of our little Allie has, after three and a half years, finally gone to trial. We've been riding an out-of-control emotional elevator.

We've received word from the San Francisco District Attorney's office that after just a couple of hours of deliberation, a jury found Paul Cote guilty of both charges of violence and abuse against Allie.

I don't know how I'm supposed to feel. People talk about closure. "Now you have closure," or "At least you have closure," people say, but I don't even know what that is supposed to mean and why people think they have to say that. What does closure do? What does it change? Allie is still crippled. Paul's life is forever altered. And everybody that loves Allie or Paul have been irreversibly changed.

And I'm trapped between floors. Do I want justice? Do I want to forgive?


How do I get both? Maybe that would be closure.

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