When I saw the atrocity in Orlando this morning, my heart broke. It was broken for the senseless loss of life, for the families who woke up to a forever-altered future, and for all the victims who didn’t lose their live but will never look at June the 12th the same.
I thought about those in my family who are gay: Those in my immediate and extended family as well as those in my circle of friends; those whom I love no matter how they choose to live their life.
My mind quickly turned to all the stupid things that would surely be uttered today. With a sinking heart I imagined the untimely things that would likely be said, the agendas that people would attempt to advance at the expense of lives lost, and the lines that would be drawn in the sand.
Will the media refer to this as an “act of terror?” Would they use the words “radical Islam?” How quickly would the gun-control-drums begin to beat? But what I most feared, what I silently prayed wouldn’t be said surfaced by noon.
It happened while Steve, Griffin and I processed the events over lunch. Griffin leaned over, put his phone screen in my eye-sight and waited for my reaction. There it was. The text of a twitter post further crumbling the pieces of my heart:
“SOS MY CHURCH LITERALLY BLAMED THE ‘club environment and sin over those men’ on why they got shot I’m so omg”
I wasn’t there, but the message this shiny new graduate got was clear: these 50 lost souls had themselves to blame.
No, I do not agree with whatever pastor spouted this rubbish, but because I profess the same faith, I can get painted with the same brush. So I can’t be quiet. I can’t sit by and assume that people know that I don’t agree with this unknown (to me) pastor. I can’t do nothing.
Can we stop?
Can we stop long enough to mourn and grieve? Can we stop playing political games, promoting religious agendas, and pointing fingers just long enough to be human? Can we stop, united by our humanity, and weep with those who weep?
There will be time for the rest later: time for investigating the why and how, time for asking why leaders can’t call a terrorist attack what it is, and time for unraveling the events that led to someone murdering so many people.
But today…. today can we remember that every life lost was one created in the image of God?
Can we reach out with the love that embodies Christ, doing whatever we can wherever we are to show those that the misguided pastor referred to as “those men” that they are loved? Because casting stones never draws anyone in, extending the love of Christ does.