When you wake up in the morning, and you log onto Facebook and one of the first things you read is that your friends living in Orlando are safe…
When the next few posts you read are flooding for prayers for a city that is only a couple of hours driving distance away, because there was a horrible tragedy that stole the lives of people who were not seeking trouble but just to have a good time…
When you continue reading that the person responsible for this crime is from your county, and made the decision to get in his car, drive to another county, and do the unthinkable…
When the posts on Facebook that follow are telling you to go donate blood over the course of the next few days to “replenish supplies”…
It takes you back in time.
To a moment when two airplanes crashed into two towers… and you thought: NO, NOT HERE!
This morning you are thinking: NO, NOT AGAIN.
There are people that I have encountered throughout my life that I don’t care for. Perhaps they make decisions I don’t agree with or have even caused me great pain. Yet, I’ve never wished the person dead. I’ve never wanted to end their time on this earth, to take them from their loved ones… Never.
So, I can not wrap my head around someone who walks into a building and opens fire. Other than to say that THIS is an act of EVIL. I don’t even have to point blame at a particular community or group, because EVIL is pervasive and sneaky. EVIL shows up sometimes in the places we would least expect it.
When you tell me that you do not believe in God or the Devil… I use this as my evidence. There is EVIL in this world, evil that we simply can not comprehend but we know it when we see it. Evil that twists sacred words from religious texts that cause people to do the unspeakable in the name of religion. Evil that twists the thoughts of people who are often described as being “such a nice person” into plunging themselves into a decision that alters the course of the lives of those they touch in unmeasurable ways.
Not every person who commits a crime such as this is mentally ill, or the product of their environment. Some are simple people who were infected by EVIL.
I do not fear evil. For the Lord has not given me a spirit of fear. I do not fear evil because I believe the Word of God that says the victory is HIS. I do not fear man, because he can not separate me from the love of God.
But I do feel pain, sorrow, mourning, loss, hurt, and all of the adjectives that I can’t put to words at the moment. I am hurting for those who were lost. I am grieving for those family members and friends who mourning this very moment. I am anxious for those who are still trying to get information on their loved ones. I am broken for the state of our world, that THIS happens in the first place.
So, I pray for Orlando. I pray because they are a city in mourning. I pray because their safety has been compromised. I pray because this is the second tragedy to hit them in a weeks time. I pray for those who are being drug into fear. I pray for those who are planning funerals in the coming days. I pray for those who are lost. I pray for those who are simply crying out because they have no words left. I pray for those who are yelling because they are all out of tears. I pray for those who are watching this event unfold and asking “am I safe?”.
When you see someone in your own community scared and hurting, reach out to them. Pray with them and let them know why…
I pray for you, because I love you. I mourn for you, because I love you. I am angry with you, because I love you.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
What is love?
Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
5 does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.
7 It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
What is the Christian response to this heinous act?
We love. We pray. We help. We donate blood. We hug. We cry. We hold their hands. We become a shoulder. We donate to help cover expenses. We simply choose to be PRESENT.
The gift of the blood of Christ saved me, I pray that each us is willing to do the same. Let us lay our personal lives aside for the moment, and donate. Bring a car load, shut your business down for an hour and bring your whole staff, respond with great generosity.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Blood Drive Statement:
There has been a tremendous response by blood donors in light of the tragic mass shooting in Orlando. We are asking donors to donate over the next several days to help replenish the blood supply. We are asking people please make an appointment online or call 1.888.9.DONATE (1.888.936.6283).