As an ordained minister, father, husband, and a guy who lives in America, I feel a painful needed to write a brilliant response to the tragedy that occurred Saturday night in Orlando. I wish I had great words of wisdom that I could pen that would give everyone great comfort, hope, and a renewed since of peace. But I have no words. What we witnessed was unspeakable incomprehensible evil.
I ask that we as a society for a moment turn down the volume of rhetoric that is increased by the media, politicians, and religious leaders. We must realize everyone has an agenda and it is not necessarily to comfort those who are hurting and whose lives have been devastated. We can all cast blame when we cannot conceptualize such an act of terrorism. If we are courageous enough to silence our own agenda we will find many families that are devastated, hurting, confused, and in a state of shock. We will find a community of liked individuals that were singled out as a target in a state of fear. If we have the bravery to turn down the rhetoric, we will hear a nation that is fearful of the stranger and a trust that has been destroyed. I concede that there are many questions that need to be answered and action taken. But now is not that time.
So let us only look at the facts without any agendas. A disturbed individual filled with hate systematically planned, orchestrated and maliciously murdered and injured a group of innocent people. That is pure evil. Evil is evil no matter the weapon used or its availability, no matter the religious affiliation, no matter the lifestyle of the victims, no matter the nationality of those murdered, and no matter our government’s effectiveness to protect us. Evil has no empathy for the victims but we as a society should. We should turn down the volume of rhetoric and listen to those hurting, confused, devastated, and in shock in losing a loved one to a senseless act. We should comfort the families that will have to bury their loved one due this repulsive act. Any act of terrorism has two vital components. First is to cause death and destruction with the greatest of impact and causalities. The other is to incite fear, mistrust and divide. The first has happened and we have no control over. The second as a community we have total control over. So let us pray for those who are burying the innocent. Let us support, encourage, and uplift a community that was singled out as a target. Let us stop the rhetoric, finger pointing, and grandstanding because people’s lives have been forever destroyed. There will be a season to reevaluate, dissect, and analyze if this could have been prevented but now is not that time. We must realize that hate was the catalyst that ignited this massacre. So let’s try to love more, pray more, empathize more, trust more, and listen more. Let us be open not to rhetoric but to the spirit of God and the spirit of humanity. There will be a time we can get back on personal crusades, agendas and debate the issues but now is not the time. Let us as a nation mourn for those that evil took away from us. Let us listen less to the social media and pray more for comfort. We might never know the why but for now remember those who are hurting, confused, scared, and devastated. They are the only thing that matters.
What can we do? As a community, let us cry with those who are mourning and with those who are hurting. Let us have the have courage and unity exclaiming to all who will listen exactly what this act is: evil. Evil: unadulterated, pure, and simple.
You can be the light in our dark world.