When Being Shocked and Appalled Isn’t Enough
Today, I am horrified.
A shooter murdered 49 people in cold blood. To escape, a woman had to hide in a bathroom by covering herself with bodies. What started as a fun night with friends ended by doing everything possible to avoid being killed.
When faced with such evil and unbelieveable tragedy, horror is the natural response. We can’t fathom how someone would commit such acts. But after the recent shootings in Orlando, I am also horrified for a different reason.
I’m horrified because I’ve become used to this.
Sure I can say that I was traveling yesterday and didn’t check my phone much. Sure I can say that I was tired from the 3-hour drive home when I opened the door to my apartment. Sure I can say that I was busy getting ready for work this morning, and my mind was on other things.
But I knew there had been a shooting in Orlando. I knew that something terrible had happened. Other than a vague feeling of disgust, my first thought was, “Not this again.”
People say that video games and movies have numbed my generation to violence. I don’t know if that is true or not. But I can say that the only time I’ve ever seen violence like this is on a screen. Thankfully, I’ve never experienced it.
But I should never forget that other people do. I should never become numb to the pain of others. Though I may be separated from them by many miles, I am not so far from them. They are humans as am I. None of us should have to be faced with such evil.
But the unfortunate fact is that such evil exists. We’d be naive to say otherwise. There will always be terrorists. There are terrorists in every country, from every race and every religion. Before you rant against the followers of Islam for the radicalism of ISIS remember that the KKK considered its members to be Christians. Neither are true followers of their respective religions but only twisted extremists consumed with evil.
We seek to find reasons that people commit these acts. We say they do it because of their religion. We say they do it as retribution for a percieved wrong or as an attack on a particular group. The reality is that there is no reason. There is no explanation. There is no answer. We seek them, but they just aren’t there. Evil is evil. It makes no sense.
But I also believe that love is love. What I mean by that is this: in the aftermath of such tragedy, we must love one another. We must pick up those who have fallen down. We must give our shoulder to those who are weeping. In any way we can, we must meet evil with love.
I don’t believe that people should be judged for who they are. No matter your view of someone’s sexual orientation, I sincerely hope you can agree with me that it doesn’t give anyone the right to gun them down. Meet evil with love.
Today, many will want to speak their “agendas.” Even more so since the target of these atrocious attacks was the LGBTQ community. I want no part in that today. I don’t think a tragedy is an opportunity to push ANY agenda. However, one thing has become abundantly clear to me…
…we have to do something.
The pain. The tragedy. The disaster played out before our very eyes. We can’t keep going on like this. At the same time, there’s one thing I just can’t quite figure out…
…I’m not sure what to do.
I don’t push my faith on others. You are free to believe what you want to believe. But when I see tragedy like the Orlando shooting, the only thing I can do is run to my Daddy. I have to sit at His feet and cry. I pray for those who are hurting. I do this, because He has told me I can.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirt of adoption as sons, by who we cry, “Abba! Father!” — Romans 8:15
I hope you will join me in praying for those affected by this terrible atrocity. I guess that means we should all pray for each other. Because even if we haven’t felt it yet, we are all affected. We are all humans, no matter our background. No life is worth more than another. We must love each other and care for the hurting.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to react to this. But I do know this…
…evil may feign power for a night, but it cannot snuff out love.
“Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away…So now faith, hope, and love abide…but the greatest of these is love.” — 1 Corinthians 13:8–10, 13