Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando

Gosh, it's hard to even find the words to adequately express my feelings about the tragedy in Orlando. But it feels weird to not say something. Anything. How can it not be addressed?
 
I woke up yesterday morning, early, per usual, and read the news almost immediately. At that time the death toll wasn't near 50, but it was still atrocious. One life lost is one too many.
 
I kind of went through yesterday in a daze, like I imagine many of y'all did. I was in a fog, and I couldn't seem to tear myself away from the news, wanting more information...expecting an answer to the why, the how...wanting someone to have the perfect answer as to how this can be prevented in the future. Wanting an answer to HOW...how could this happen in our country again? Fifty people are dead. Fifty! That's fifty sons (we're not yet sure if any females were murdered), siblings, fathers, friends, co-workers, brothers, husbands, boyfriends...souls. Fifty people gone too soon.
 
No answers came...just more outrage. Blame thrown around like a hot potato. Gay people are being blamed for being gay; Muslims are being blamed for the beliefs of an extremist; people who believe in the right to bear arms are being blamed for believing that is their right; people who want stricter gun laws are being attacked for just that.
 
I don't have any answers. I have a lot of thoughts on it all, but my thoughts won't change anything. All I can do is pray and love and speak out against what I believe is injustice.
 
I pray for those who died and for their loved ones who will mourn that loss the rest of their lives. I pray for those injured and for those who witnessed the atrocities. I pray that we as a nation can discern the best way to fight terrorism inside our borders. I pray that our leaders will find a way to get assault weapons out of the hands of civilians. I pray for stricter gun laws (and I'm not apologizing for that). I pray for my gay friends who feel targeted. I pray for my Muslim friends who are attacked for their beliefs when a Muslim extremist acts. I pray for myself, as a Christian, that I will find the right words to say during this time...words that manifest love and might comfort some. I pray for humankind...that we might display more compassion and less hate on a daily basis. I pray that we will lift one another up and band together during a tough time. I pray that the events in Orlando won't be something that we've forgotten about in a few weeks; I pray that these awful events will ignite something in us to do better, to act, to show love and kindess...to remember that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.
 
Jen Hatmaker is always so eloquent and puts her thoughts into words so perfectly. She shared this on Facebook last night, and I wanted to share it too:
 
"Don't say nothing. The way to battle this kind of evil is to overcome it with love according to Jesus who, by the way, would be smack in the middle of Orlando if he was still walking around down here, attending to wounds and souls and beloved hearts. Put your arms around your gay friends and family members [my edit: put your arms around everyone because this affected us all] and speak love and solidarity and presence and hope into their lives. God in heaven, be near."
 
 
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I pray that today would be a good day for us all...that we will exhibit love and will feel loved in return.