One year ago on this day 49 people were killed at the Orlando gay nightclub “Pulse” on its weekly Latin Night. More than 50 more were injured and about 200 more escaped as survivors. It was the deadliest mass shooting in US history, and I would urge you to do some research on the stories of the victims.
When I heard about the news I was on vacation at the beach, and at first I brushed it off as “just another shooting.” (A pretty lame response, I’m sorry to admit.) But when I looked closer, what I found shocked and angered me. Though we can only move forward if we forgive, I find myself thinking about this event so often. 49 people killed by an American citizen.
I struggle to find words to make sense of it. How can we fight terrorism overseas when we are so busy fighting it on our own soil?
Before he was killed, the shooter pledged allegiance to ISIS. But it was a gay nightclub, and it was Latin Night. It is hard to stay complacent when entire communities are targeted in this way, and unchecked bigotry threatens everyone’s security. I pray for a world where we all show a better side of humanity. We WILL get there. But we have not arrived there yet, and I remain upset.
Rest in Peace.
For the last 3 1/2 months, I have been living as if there were no redemption.
This entire weekend, the only thoughts I’ve had about Easter were how “ill-prepared” I was spiritually to face it.
Despite the entire religious observance being about grace, I have felt guilt at not spending enough time meditating and being “Christian enough” to fully appreciate it. I have had only a dull apathy.
This morning, I overslept and my inaction caused me to miss the celebration at my home church.
I have been praying that on Easter, God would show up, and wreck my life, and I think it is in that space of inability to pave the way for my own salvation that God works most.
When we judge ourselves, or when we are in a time in life where we only seem to encounter judgment, punishment, and no mercy–in other words, when we are in the Wilderness, it is easy to forget that the reason we continue living through it at all is the hope of our reward in heaven.
We are a fallen people, and though our world is being redeemed, it is full of self-inflicted darkness.
But the promise of Easter is that we have the power to overcome sin through the penalty having been transacted on the cross.
Because of that truth, nothing else in our lives matters but the love we show to each other, and our overflowing worship to God. The one is fueled by the other. Our enemies on earth are the very same people that Jesus died for, and they are the ones we must love the most relentlessly.
I hope wherever you are, you have had a blessed Easter.
May 13, 2014
There’s something about blogging that has always seemed inherently hypocritical to me.
I won’t pretend to have read thousands of blogs, but from what I can tell, in the “blogging community” the advice is to be aware of your audience. In other words, are you writing for others to be entertained, informed, or connected, or are you writing mostly for yourself? I tend to run a bit long-winded in my posts, and judge my work in its content and length mostly by my own standards. This way, any readers interested in regularly following will get an accurate representation of myself, and my online persona will more or less fit the mold I see for myself in real life. To go morbid, much of my writing serves as an attempt to account for myself should I die.
To me, this seems to be an incredibly narcissistic goal. For who am I to judge myself, or claim that my thoughts have a more valuable weight simply for having been written down? Yet, by much encouragement, I’ve created a blog for others to read, besides myself. Moreso, in the writing of said blog I keep in mind that I will have an audience. My editing and maintenance of this online journal is done in service to others. Do you see the tension, now?
Taking it one layer deeper, of course, we could analyze this entire post and interpret it as a backdoor apology, offered before I’ve really written anything. In short, I pray that in following my internal call to write my thoughts and publish them for a public eye, I won’t offend, I won’t waste your time, and I won’t be untrue. But in the end, I will still keep a blog.
MND 5.1.440-447, -William Shakespeare