Lenten Love Series #4

On the morning of the Covenant School shooting (last March 27, 2023), I was sitting at my computer working on the introduction for a new piece of writing entitled 100 reasons to believe that the world is good, full of beauty, and remarkably sacred. Then I got the terrible call. I moved from a writer’s bliss to the very depth of despair. On the drive to Vanderbilt Children’s hospital, I found myself praying, “Dear God, I cannot do this. Please remove this cup from my hand. It is too much. I am afraid. Please choose another.” But Something mysterious and way beyond me took charge that day. In a conference room on the top floor of the hospital, a family that I love had just received the most devastating news that their child did not survive the mass school shooting. The pain was unlike anything I had ever experienced.


Come, Holy Spirit, Come.


I was asked if I would go downstairs to the ER to see this dear child before the family. Shakily, I got on the elevator to do the impossible task. My conversation with God resumed in the quaking chamber of my heart: “Where are you? I need you. Help me.” I was surrounded by two stoic, grim-faced police officers and two from the Vanderbilt ER medical team in their green hospital scrubs. My fingernails dug into my palms. So frightened, I reached out again to God: “How can I do this? I know this precious beautiful blond-haired child. Her dad is my eye doctor, and everyone who knows her mother knows her constant kindness and radiant joy. Surely there is someone better than me. They deserve an angel.”


We all wore hospital masks. Suddenly, one of the four strangers pulled down his mask. He looked into my eyes and said, “Farrell, I know you.”

This was the first time I had ever seen him. “You were a close friend to Tallu, as was my wife.” For those who do not know of Tallu Schyuler Quinn. She was a spiritual fount and a dear friend to me. She was full of holy reinforcement and such great love. She passed away from brain cancer. I pulled down my mask, “I wish Tallu was here right now.” He then said, “She is.” It was the way he said it. A divine pronouncement. “God is here.” The elevator doors opened. I pulled my mask back up. It was no longer I, but God’s Spirit ushering me forward. I followed this green-scrubbed angel-person into the fluorescent-lit room. I knelt beside Evelyn and he knelt beside me. Not one second was I alone. I believe God made sure of it. I was told later that I said a prayer. I have no idea what I said. It wasn’t me talking. It could only have been the Holy Spirit speaking through me.


I do not have superpowers. There is no halo now nor one in the works. My path is imperfect, certainly not one of a saint’s. I cannot testify to any burning bush experiences, nor the heavens opening and God speaking the words, “You are my beloved.” What I want you to hear is Farrell, by herself, was not enough for that terrible moment. I needed divine reinforcement and the Holy Spirit came to my aid.


In the abyss, may we pray, “Come, Holy Spirit, Come.”


God will not disappoint.

  • Kathryn Davis

    March 11, 2024 at 5:41 am

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, Farrell ♥️

  • Rachel Barden

    March 11, 2024 at 6:10 am

    Oh, Farrell…..thank you for sharing this deeply personal and moving experience. I am grateful.

  • Corky Herbert

    March 11, 2024 at 6:23 am

    What a moving confirmation of the help that we receive when we ask. God bless you, Farrell, and all those who move forward to help, trusting even amid their temerity, that the Holy Spirit will sustain and speak and comfort.

  • Francis McMeekin

    March 11, 2024 at 7:01 am

    This is a moment when “Heaven came down”. In scripture Jesus promised us He would not leave us without comfort, His Holy Spirit. Jesus indwells in us. 🥰

  • Jade Forlidas

    March 11, 2024 at 7:24 am

    There are no coincidences in God’s world. Three angels brought together to visit that precious Angel-child and to be with her family. My tears, my prayers for the Holy Spirit to guide us through this.

  • Laura

    March 11, 2024 at 9:13 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this profound event where you were surrounded by people and angels to help you through a horrific experience.

  • bette christofersen

    March 11, 2024 at 7:25 pm

    WOW. powerful.

    and it made me look back on your conversations to find the one you had with Tallu. i was longing to hear her voice…but alas…you have the picture but i couldn’t figure a way to get the audio…it was such a sweet interview…is there any way to hear it?

    thank you for being you.

  • Kree Nelson

    March 18, 2024 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing!