Father, Mother, Creator God…
We are here in an intentional way. Our hearts are heavy and our minds are full of what might have been. Fifty people were killed in an Orlando night club, and the grief is overwhelming. What kind of brilliance was lost in that attack? What kind of creative energy? What kind of art, music, design has been silenced? What kind of scientific discoveries?
What kind of mind justified killing 50 people? And yet, even in our anger, we know you are with him, too.
In the news it is reported that it was a gay night club, but I do not dare think that all 50 people dead are gay. It is Pride Month, the time when all of our allies across the queer spectrum gather in support of our need to celebrate our escape from our past… and as we have learned that the past isn’t over, just like you led your children out of Egypt, please deliver us from this distress.
Remind us, O God, that you were there from the first moment that drag queens started throwing bottles at the police, trying to escape their brutality at Stonewall. Remind us that you were there with every epithet and punch thrown from then until now. Remind us that you are there with the victims’ families in Orlando today.
Remind us, O God, that you are the Responder.
You are where we go to scream and cry out our frustrations, our want to take out vengeance on the shooter, and our feelings that our justice has been denied because the shooter is dead. Our inability to wrap our minds over how this could have happened in the first place.
Take our lips and speak with them, take our minds and think with them, take our hearts and heal them… because it is such a human thing to feel all of these emotions swirling, even the ones that say revenge is right and good. Please wrap your arms around the Muslim community in Orlando, for you are not only our God, but their Allah as well. Help us to know that faithful Muslims and terrorists are not the same thing, and to know that their community is hurting as well, frightened with the possibility of retaliation.
Revenge is human, but not divine, and that is where our days go into nights… Nights that ask us to see more of ourselves than rage, even when we think we cannot get past it. Days that ask us to be Christ in the world, just as you have asked. Ones that ask just how our community is supposed to respond, rather than the knee-jerk reactions that grab our souls and try to hold on.
Please be with Barack Obama today as he speaks to the nation, because he has already said so many times over that he is tired of having to give this speech…. the one talking about national gun violence and how it keeps happening over and over and over and over and over…. this one now being the largest massacre to date.
Watch over the hospital as 50 more people are treated for their physical wounds, and stay with them as their post-traumatic stress gets in the way of living their lives, for this will not pass easily or quickly in the minds of the hurt and the helpless lookers-on.
Watch over our community as we resurrect ourselves.
In Jesus’ name,