My schedule says I’m supposed to be writing a 1200 word humor story. It has sat on my schedule for five days now, a task unfulfilled. I’m stuck. My thoughts keep returning to the day you disappeared. The last four minutes of your life. One minute running, hair in the wind, endorphins racing through your blood, the next, fighting for your life.
The suburb I live in is not far from where you were. My kids, nieces and nephews go to the U of M. They run too. Alone. At least they did. I’m confused. Why was he there? Had he watched you before? Was he reacting to some drug, some poison, like a rabid dog? What in the world is going on? I’m hurt. Your husband was in recovery they say. Your family on the mend from some hard places. What happens now? Is he going to survive? What about those poor little boys?
How many victims are there? How many people will hate now? How many people will have to spend their lives now overcoming unforgiveness? So much poison for generations to come. This wasn’t a ripple in destiny. It was a tidal wave.
I didn’t even know you or your family, but our lives have intersected here. I have no reason to feel so heavy. But my spirit feels the absence of light somehow. And there’s nothing I can do but pray for your family. I’m angry. Who’s to blame? Your killer? His parents? Society? The legal system? You for living your life and running? Who is it? I want to know where to hang all of what I feel! Damnit I want to know!
Where was the God you placed your hope in? Are you with Him now? Are you demanding answers from Him? I would be. Knowing this makes me question everything about my faith.
I’m mad. I see you satan. Now I understand. you are the source, the one to blame, this was your master plan. Sin’s stain once again, ripping apart every man. Liza wouldn’t want this, this much I know. She would tell us to shine the light of truth and let it glow. So today, I’m turning this thing around on you and I am going to fight. Not with horse and chariot, and not with my own might. But I am calling upon the Name The One above every other name I am going to urge my brothers and sisters pray To spite you even more, I’m going to tell the truth So everyone suffering this same tidal wave Can escape your abuse. Jesus said to murder first begins with hate And if we are acting like her killer, Then we too bear satan’s name. We say Memphis is tired and cry for violence to end.
But how can we begin to heal, if we don’t first forgive? I don’t know your killer and don’t care right now to understand But I know that Liza would say, On true faith, Memphis must stand. I’m going to stand with Liza today and change my own mad heart. I pray for the Kingdom of God to rule in Memphis And stop ripping each other apart. The root of this madness is sin. And until we accept this truth, This will happen again and again. Wanna fight back against this horrific tragedy? Then pray for your brother, pray with your neighbor, It’s the only way we’ll win. God laid out His plan Instructions for our lives. We disregard it daily and choose discord and strife. Wanna fight back against Eliza’s killer? Read your Bible tonight. I’m not saying we can have another paradise. That was over in the first garden, when Eve took the bite.
But we can rise above, satan’s hateful hands And learn to live in love until we see her again. Liza is with Jesus now. My spirit has no doubt. But let’s continue her legacy and wring evil out. Stop the tidal wave, scream to hell, “No more!” And raise our hearts to Heaven, to Him we call Lord. We must tell our neighbors, every chance we get, That sin is the root of this whole thing and we cannot forget. Don’t displace your anger in more of satan’s lies. Stand upon God’s Word, and Memphis, we can rise.
Amy Parker is a Memphian and a writer. Amy sent us this essay unsolicited this morning before newsletter press time.
Feature photo by Memphis photographer Raymond Chiozza. Friday morning, September 9, 2022, Central Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee. For more of Raymond’s photos of Finishing Liza’s Run, see here.