This past Sunday, Dustin ran the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. The marathon is in honor and remembrance of those who were killed and wounded during the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19th 1995 and to raise awareness for the continued quest for peace.
Conditions were nit ideal to run a marathon. We got down to the city around 5:45 and it was about 35* and starting to rain. They said it would lighten up.....but it never did. The race was suppose to start at 6:30 but due to weather it didn't begin till 7. Dustin was anxious but excited and I was just ready to get out of the cold. The race started and probably due to weather, there really wasn't anything set up for observers to do. Its was 7am on a Sunday and nothing was open. I decided to go walk around the OKC memorial since that was what everyone was here for to begin with. The outside memorial is beautifully set up with a reflection pond in-between 2 towers with the times " 9:01 and 9:03" on them. Meant to symbolize the time before and after the bomb went off. They also had chairs set up to symbolize those who were killed.
I wish I could have spent more time looking around at it, but it's was getting colder and raining harder and I felt like I needed to get inside. Next to the memorial was a Catholic Church and I figured that would be the best place to seek refuge from the cold. I walked up to the church and asked a women standing out front if it was open, she said yes and let me inside. It was a beautiful cathedral and so enlace warm and safe. I began to walk into the church and a man stopped me and asked me what I was doing, I just told him I wanted to see the church and get out of the rain. He let me pass but I could see up ahead of me the priest talking loudly and making grand gestures to someone. I could hear him saying " get them out" and all of a sudden came striding towards me saying to get out and he told the man to lock the doors. The man just turn to me and told me " out you go" I could not believe I just got thrown out of a church for nothing. A CATHOLIC church for that matter. I could see no event going on at the church, mass was suppose to begin at 8 but what if I was coming in for mass? Or just to come into someplace I thought was suppose to be inviting and sheltering? As I reflect upon what happened to me more it's really upsetting. Thats not what a church is suppose to be like, there not suppose to lock their doors and turn people away when there in need. Would Jesus have turned those away who were seeking his protection? I know this isn't the same in all churches, but it just came at a bad time when I'm already having a hard enough time swallowing the churches regulations on marriage.
So I left the church and found an open convenient store, sat there for about an hour. The rained cleared up slightly so I walked over to the memorial museum. I was really glad the museum was open. If anyone ever gets the chance to see it I highly recommend it. It was neat how it was set up cronologically from the moments before the bomb went off, to the initial reactions, victim rescuer and the aftermath of the event. The saddest part about the entire thing was seeing the faces and the retrieved toys from the children who were killed. That's what tugs at your heart the most. These innocent children who were killed because of a extremest action.
After the museum, I figured Dustin would be finishing up so I headed towards the finish line. As I got there, I could see him up ahead of me and I have to say I have never seen a person look worse than how he looked. All color was drained from his face, he was staggering and shaking with cold. Felt so bad for him. He was proud of himself though for finishing and he finished under his goal of 4 hours. Official race time was 3:54!
Luckily there was a Methodist church right next to the finish line at was open allowing runner to come in from the cold, seek warmth and get some food. I helped Dustin into the church and went in search of food for him. I went into the dining area just as they were closing the kitchen. I asked a women there if there was any food left I could take him because he needed it and couldn't even move from the spot he was. She told me they weren't allowed to eat in the sanctuary but if I could get him over there she would have a plate. I helped Dustin as he staggered to the dining area and the women was there waiting with food for him. She didn't have to go into the kitchen to get him anything, nor did she have to wait on him and go against what they were told to do. But she did and both he and I were thankful for it. She made sure he was ok and that we had what we needed. Dustin was able to eat, clean up and even get fresh clothes. They provided the runners and the families with a safe and warm place to go. Something the Catholic church should have done for me. It was the first time in a long time I truly felt Jesus working through someone, through this women and through the people at that church.
Dustin is thankful the race is in the past and I'm happy we got through it. It was quite an emotional day. Emotional reflecting upon why they were running, reading and seeing the stories and the images of what happened that day and seeing the true colors of those who serve. It was remarkable to see people come together despite the weather and other hardships to honor those who had died and fight for peace and love for all.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”