There is hope in all things. There is goodness in all things and as a former pastor once told me, there is grace in all things. Although I believe all three of these statements are true, on days like today it is difficult to find hope, goodness and grace. All three seem lost to the anger and hatred that is saturating our world.
For those of you that may not have heard, a lone shooter entered a gay bar in Orlando Florida and killed at least 50 and injured 53. The LGBTQ community has always been aware that danger lurks at every corner. We know that young men, raging with testosterone, will hang outside gay bars just to have an opportunity to show their friends how macho they are by beating up gay men. We know that transgender women are at risk of being murdered simply because they do not fit an expected role in society. We know there are “Christians” in our country that believe death is the only thing people in the LGBTQ community deserve.
This morning, shortly after the shooting, the Lt. Gov. of Texas (Dan Patrick) tweeted the Biblical verse: “Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” His office is now claiming the tweet was not in response to this mornings shooting. But the reality is Dan Patrick has fought to deny the LGBTQ community equality. And when people of power publicly dismiss a certain group or actively discourage tolerance of that group they legitimize the hate.
I truly do believe in finding the good in all events. And I know in the days to come we will hear stories of heroism that occurred during this tragic event. I also know some of the victims will become organ donors and maybe survivors will go on to share their story and make a difference in our world. But for now it is painful. It is hurtful to know one person has enough hate in their heart to shoot 100 (plus) total strangers simply because they love differently.
Let us pray for the victims, their families, friends and the rest of the LGBTQ community that realizes it could have been any of us. And as difficult as it is, let us pray for the man that committed this crime and his family. Because the true sign of a Christian (and I believe a good person) is not one that condemns others, but one that forgives others and chooses to love their enemy.