Today should have been a beautiful day in Orlando…but it wasn’t. What promised to be a day of worship, picnics, and trips to the beach didn’t happen. The unimaginable and tragic happened at 2am and we woke to the horrific news that 50 people had been murdered at what is now described as the worst mass shooting in US history.
I immediately began receiving text message from as far away as Nairobi wanting to know if I was OK. Rather than answer each, although I did, I decided to use social media, Facebook, as a way to let my Facebook friends know I was fine, physically. The emotional part of “fine” is lagging behind.
I wasn’t surprised, but still disappointed, by a few reactions. “You’re not the kind of person to be at nightclubs” or “You’re not gay so I wasn’t worried.”
Then I thought, but what if I had been there? With the motivation of letting those in attendance hear the Good News. Would I be willing to be there for my own reasons, motivated by my love for people who need to hear the Good News that Jesus, the one who disregarded, defeated and destroyed death was their friend? Why would some think I would not? What would they have thought of me had I been there?
This struck deep in my soul because I think this is exactly what Jesus would have done. He went where others would not go. He entered into the lives of people who needed Good News.
I write not to be critical but rather as a reminder, maybe only to myself, that this is a tragedy for our community and an opportunity for the community of believers to reach out in love to those who need comfort. Now is not the time for recrimination or finger pointing. Now is a time for mourning with those who mourn…comforting those who need comfort. To be the extension of the one who comforts in times of great distress. #prayforOrlando.