Once again we have been stunned into grief, anger, despair, a sense of powerlessness. A gunman with an assault rifle (who really needs an assault rifle anyway!?) enters a club filled with people dancing, having a good time. 50 innocent people die. Many more wounded. ALL of them changed forever.
This is such a complex event. A gay nightclub. "Latino Night." A terrorist act.
And I'm asking, "Now what?"
Oh, there is the usual outpouring of sympathy. And the usual call for action. I say usual because this is not new. Not really. We will hold our vigils, and rant on Facebook.
And then life goes on. And nothing changes. Some say, "That's the way things are." Well, I think the way things are sucks!
And I also believe that it doesn't have to be that way.
My faith tells me that the worst thing that can happen is never the last thing to happen. My faith tells me that even as those 50 innocents were being murdered, they were being carried on wings of eagles into an everlasting embrace of love.
My faith tells me that prayer is a powerful thing. My faith also tells me that prayer without action is meaningless.
An event like this can overwhelm us. It can rob us of hope. Or, it can make us stronger. Together. Together we can create the change that reasonable people long for. The change that oppressed and marginalized people cry for. The change that some say cannot happen.
It's time. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. (Bonhoeffer) It is time.
God is at work bringing something lifegiving out of all of this. We can be part of that. Or not.
We are the inheritors of the most powerful force in the whole universe. It is the power of love. Love for even our enemies. A love that has conquered even death.
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” Excerpt From: Bibles, Harper. “NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha.” HarperCollins Publishers, 2007. iBooks.