Orlando. It’s the only word one need say to open the door to a flood of sickening thoughts. The reality is I love Orlando. It’s a great and beautiful city. I have many fond memories with family and friends there. However, the evil actions robbing and maiming life bring with it negative associations undeserved by such a great city with so many loving people.
Since early Sunday morning when the news of this horrific act of violence broke and we prayed for those effected in our morning worship services, I have just been sick. And with every new breaking detail of the perpetrator that floods our media feed, I am overwhelmed to the point of stopping the flow of information; it’s just too painful! Too much information overwhelms the soul and diffuses the reality of this mass injustice.
God is grieving, sick, and crying too. I am sure of that because God’s heart is to redeem and restore all of us as we are all created in the image of God. So how does this atrocious act happen? How is it that someone who obviously needed to know the love of God never got it, spiraled down to the point of taking many innocent lives with him and leaving others permanently traumatized?
God, help us trust You for all the questions that we cannot answer that You are fully present and still at work in this world. Here is what we know by God’s own promise: God’s love is ours; God will never leave us nor forsake us; God is constantly at work for our good even in the most painful times; and God’s love is not just for us, but for all those around us as God’s love is intended to flow through us and not just to us.
You want to do something with the righteous anger you feel about all this? Then tell those around you that God loves them and then show them that you love them. Invite them to discover the freedom that God promises in Jesus Christ (John 8:32-33). Finally, pray by interceding for hurting people that God’s grace and freedom would be theirs even when seems lost. That’s a love that transcends terrorism, nationality, gender, sexual identity, past mistakes, prejudices, and everything else known to fallen man. May the love of God be upon Orlando and us in such a way that no life be lost in such a manner in the future, that no pain be so enormous to motivate someone to such evil acts, and that no manner of evil through hurt or hatred overshadows the love of the cross of Jesus Christ!