Guest post by Heather Fignar

The rain and fog of the day, the granite outcroppings and the hilly terrain of our mountain side blotted out the sirens and the lights. Blissfully ignorant, I sat at my kitchen table working as police drama unfolded just up the road.

My phone came to life, ringing with calls, vibrating with texts. Word was out that there had been a shooting on my street. My friends were texting. My husband was calling. Was I okay?

My safety firmly acknowledged, the next questions were filled with w’s. Who was it? Where was it? What happened? Why?

I left the sanctuary of my home and climbed the driveway to investigate. Up the mountain, the street was filled with vehicles and yellow tape. The scene had already unfolded and now the cleanup had begun.

The details are still unclear – of how the police arrived, why my neighbor stood in his driveway in the rain holding a gun or why the police wounded him to end the altercation.


There are things we know. We know his address. We know his name. We know his age. We know his profession. We know his ethnicity. We know how long he’s lived in that home on our quiet street in a rural, affluent town in northwest Connecticut.

If you looked at this man’s zip code, the stone pillars that flank his driveway or his station in life, it would be easy to assume that life was good. Clearly, something was amiss. Because it’s not what we know that led to a standoff that ended in a shooting. All those details seemed right.

It’s what we don’t know. We don’t know about the heart ache, the soul wound, the despair. We don’t know about the identity crisis, the loneliness, the sense of failure, the hopelessness. We don’t know the thoughts and attitudes. We don’t know the heart of the man.

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7


Here is the truth that I have come to better understand in the weeks following “the incident.”

These situations are not a result of the location of one’s home, but rather the condition of one’s heart.

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