By now, you have likely heard about the gunman who opened fire at a school board meeting in Panama City, FL. It is a difficult video to watch – the gunman fires on the school board members. The security officer, Mike Jones, a former police officer, shot the gunman twice, and the gunman ultimately took his own life. Thank heavens the officer was there.

There was another hero in the room last night, School Board member, Ginger Littleton. What she did was unbelievably courageous, and brave:

Isn’t that amazing? Of course, her daughters are right – she could have been killed doing what she did. But it was her immediate response that she could not allow these fellow school board members to sit there like ducks without trying to do something.

And then for the miracle part of this whole encounter. The following video has some difficult scenes in it, just to warn you. But what is really remarkable, as retold by the superintendent, Bill Husfelt, is what happened when the gunman opened fire on the school board members:

This was truly a miracle. Husfelt is convinced that God stepped between him and the gunman’s bullets. I know I was shocked that the superintendent was not hit. Thank heavens.

As noted, it could have been so, so much worse, considering students and their parents had just been there. Wow. A miracle indeed.

Recently, Larry Johnson gave us a pleasant surprise – a flash “mob” singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” at a food court in a Canadian mall. Many people wondered if that kind of thing would happen in the States.

Well, it did. The Opera Company of Philadelphia engaged in a “random act of culture” at Macy’s in Philadelphia, which is home to the largest pipe organ in the world. As the daughter of a church organist (and choirmaster), who awakened to the sounds of my dad practicing the organ every Sunday morning, this was particularly moving. And it is incredibly beautiful:

I’d say that’s another miracle,, of a different kind, wouldn’t you?

And while this doesn’t quite rise to “miracle” status, it is my favorite organ piece, and is just beautiful. I used to turn the pages for my dad when he played it. It is performed here by Diane Bish, widely considered one of the greatest organists in the world:

May your day be filled with beauty and miracles.

  • Puma.for.Life

    That’s what I thought. No one did anything after she karate chopped his arm. That was the moment of opportunity that she offered them. What were they thinking? Bravo to her. Very brave.

  • creeper

    The ability to play an instrument must be deeply seated in the brain.  mr. creeper’s mom was the organist at a local church for forty years.  She descended into the depths of dementia ten years before she died.  When she could no longer recognize where she was, when she did not know her own sons, when even speech was beyond her, she could still play the piano in the nursing home.

    As for how one reacts in situations like this, it will vary with each individual.  What I’ve learned over the years is that during a crisis I’m alert, fearless, calm and decisive.  Nothing rattles me. 

    When the crisis is over I turn into a pool of jello.  I wonder if that isn’t how Ginger Littleton felt when the danger was past.

  • Tom Sears

    I totally disagree.  This woman showed incredible fortitude; her actions DID NOT put everyone ‘at risk’.  It could have alleviated anyone getting hurt.  If more people acted less like lemmings in situations like this perhaps there would be different outcomes.  We often have only one available response to random acts of violence.  If we are not prepared or fail to have a plan of response, poor outcomes can and do occur.  That’s not to assure that ‘good’ outcomes would always come from a response, but I don’t believe any of us can any longer simply turn away.  I applaud the lady.  

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    Yep – lucky for him y’all are Canadian!  😀

  • Ferd Merry Christmas Berfle

    Well, creeper, thanks for the compliment but honestly I do not know what I would have done in that situation. I certainly would not have stood by with my hands in my pockets, however.

  • Suzie Ivy

    Love that movie and bought the CD!

  • wodiej crackerdawg


  • wodiej crackerdawg

    you apparently don’t know how much women put in a purse.  They can be pretty heavy.  haha

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    Oh, wow, Helenk – that is such a neat story.  I definitely remember Wanamakers.  And how cool abt your son!  Thank you.

    I am still curious as to why they have the largest organ there.  That’s pretty wild, isn’t it?  Someone says one day, “hey, I know what – let’s get ourselves a massive organ in here, ‘k?”  🙂

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    I LOVE that movie, Linda!  Yes – that is a great scene, and just a phenomenal movie (the woman who is actually playing for the kid is really amazing, too).  Thanks for the reminder of that scene, LA!  Oh, yes – great movie.  I am sure you know that Keri Russell really did learn to play the cello for that movie.  That was her the entire time.  Cool, eh?

    IaDK3sLT, yes, Dad was still able to go to organ recitals, or his favorite – progressive dinners at which different organists would play.  And he kept his membership to the AGO.  He told me once that the big-time organists (like Bish) had insurance just for arthritis because it was so common to them.  You can see why.  (Dad also had a wonderful singing voice, as did my mom.  Dad was a cantor in a synagogue for a while, sang with the Oratorio singers, was a concert pianist, and was always the choirmaster and organist at every church we attended.  Mom and I always sang in the choir.   Plus, Dad started us all playing the piano at 5, which doesn’t seem so young these days, but many yrs ago when I was 5, it was!  🙂 )

    What a sweet comment!

  • IaDk3sLt

    Oh, RRRA, that must have been painful for all of you, especially to see how hard it was for your Dad.  I hope he at least got joy being able to still hear others play the music he loved so much.