The Morning Blast: Continued Harassment in Ashe County
Ashe County, North Carolina
Exhaustion crept in. I resisted the urge to stop. I just wanted to get home. Every sign brought me closer and closer. I’d drive eleven hours to see my grandfather before his next chemo treatment. Though I’d do it all over again in a second, I needed sleep. Pulling up to our home…and barely taking the time to turn out the lights…I drug myself to my bed. Sleep was almost instantaneous. Before I could even get to a deeper cycle of sleep, my kids woke me up to start the day. Though I was still exhausted, the next day belonged to them. We played outside. We played inside. We went to the park. We went up in the woods. We ate lunch. We ran errands. We ate dinner. We did it all. At the end of the day, I was determined to get some sleep. I felt like a zombie roaming the halls of our house. When I got in the bed, I experienced one of the deeper sleeps of my life. In the midst of such rest, I don’t wake up. In fact, I have never found an alarm clock that can wake me up in such times. Then, it happened.
Around 5:38 am, I was awoken by a shotgun blast right outside of our home. Shooting up in bed, I raced to check on the kids. Immediately, I knew what the sound was. Initially, I couldn’t find our dog. Looking into one of the bedrooms, she slowly came out of one of the closets. I have never seen her so terrified. After a reasonable amount of time, I went outside to see if anyone was still there. On some level, I prepared to get blasted. Trying to make sure I wasn’t mistaken, I looked all over for another cause…before I was reaffirmed in what I knew that I heard. My wife and I discussed the situation and realized that there was nothing we could do…except to make sure that all of the kids and the dog were safely with us. I stayed awake until daylight (which couldn’t come fast enough)…then, I went back to sleep. Later on the next day, I filed a police report/documentation of the incident. I still don’t know what else to do.
There is no question in my mind that the blast is a continuation of the harassment we have constantly faced here in Ashe County. The threats online and in person have created a situation that is incredibly dangerous for our family. The blast could have easily struck one of our children. I guess this is how it works here. Life has little value until these locals get what they want. Regardless, I think it’s important to make something very clear. I will not stop my divine vocation. I will continue to fight for the marginalized and oppressed. If one day my life is required of me, so be it. At the end of the day, we are a family that knows the risks. We are not going anywhere. Despite the evil that is close, let there be no doubt that God is with us.