Along with everyone else, my heart is heavy as I watch coverage of the Orlando shootings. On one level I am excruciatingly saddened by the aftermath. My heart breaks as I think of those fifty families and what they must be going through; as I think of those who must feel grateful, as odd as that sounds, that their loved ones were only wounded; as I think of the existing trauma for those who got out alive, physically unharmed, as they continuously relive the events of the night. And my heart is heavy for the LGBTQ community. Simply knowing that by gathering and celebrating life together can create a target for those who hate must instill tremendous fear.
My heart is heavy for the Muslim community, who once again is blamed in total for the acts of a lone, deranged terrorist.
In the midst of the horror, however, arises the human spirit – the invincible human spirit with the capacity to love in the face of hate, to extend a hand in the face of fear, and to live compassionately in the face of abhorrent acts. Our faith calls us to rise above the horror, to raise up the sanctity of life as we mourn the loss of young lives. Our faith calls us to raise up the right of all to openly love whom they love. As we denounce the violence in Orlando, let us cling to all that is loving and fair and decent and just in our world. It is the greatest protection we have.