I don’t normally check the news. Not on Sunday mornings anyway. I’m usually swamped at church, running around serving in the children’s area. But this Sunday was different. Something about my friend’s simple status with the hashtag #Orlando just seemed to say “stop and listen” this time.
When I googled it, the results of the Orlando shooting shocked me. I sat in the volunteer break room and quickly scrolled through a few articles trying to get all of the information. I sent a few of these posts to my wife, Lisa. She needed to know about this.
My heart broke. Fifty dead. At least fifty more injured. I felt like puking.
How could this happen? Why did this happen? Who let this happen?
Then I immediately became afraid.
Where else could this happen? When else would this happen?
Hate didn’t die in the Orlando shooting — no, sadly, hate will still continue to breed and spread beyond the Orlando shooting.
For a split second, I considered the thought that this might unify the nation. With the ominous approach of a potentially catastrophic and divisive election year, we as a nation need to come together. But then, I realized something.
People were going to use this tragedy, this purely evil attack, as an agenda to continue spreading hate, division, and derision.
Gun control activists will launch into attacks on the NRA and all those who hang onto their own weapons for dear life.
Christians will launch into attacks on the evils of homosexuality and how the LGBT+ community needs Christ to save themselves.
People everywhere will hold up the flag of the Orlando shooting, donning their agenda-ridden statuses and posts with #PrayForOrlando.
All across the nation, people will take sides based on how their worldview dictates them to do so. Their ideology will bleed through their prayers and posts and conversations.
In an hour when what we need most is to comfort the mourning and pray for God’s love to pour over a community suffering a tragedy, people would rather be right than good.
I cried Sunday morning. I cried standing in my church’s children’s ministry area. I cried at the thought of those fifty souls lost from this world, for the fifty-plus others injured wrongly, for the families who lost loved ones, and for the community of Orlando bearing this persecution.
And, most of all, I cried, knowing that this would not be the end of evil or hatred in this world. Not yet.
Where/when did you hear news of the Orlando shooting? What are your feelings?
* Photo courtesy ryan_mckee, Creative Commons.