Orlando: June 2016

Orlando_shooting_dc_160612_4x3_992ORLANDO, FL – JUNE 12: Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

In the aftermath of the shooting in Orlando, my heart grieved for the men and women who in their final moments of life experienced the kind of terror that is of nightmares. I cried looking at the faces of every person who won’t be home for the holidays, the voices that won’t ever again wish a “happy Mother’s Day” or “happy birthday.”

It made me wonder if I was ever to find myself in a situation where a shooter was on the hunt for me and for my friends, if I could hear him coming, if I knew my life was moments away from ending, whose voice would I want to hear? What would I say? What would my parting words be?

In asking the questions, the humanity of each face came into focus. The people who died in the shooting in Orlando were sons and daughters. They had inside jokes with their friends and insurance payments to make. They liked spaghetti and sunsets and going on fast rollercoasters. They had favorite colors and bad days. They wanted to be loved and to grow old.

Then in the middle of collective mourning, there were some in the Christian community who very loudly seemed to applaud the travesty.

My heart broke. I was embarrassed. I wanted to scream to the world, “I am a Christian, but I am not this!”

Jesus Christ came into the world to seek and save the lost. He dined with drunkards and prostitutes, tax collectors and Pharisees—people like me, people like you; but for the persistent grace of God.

Even when we were lost and apart from Him, Christ saw us differently than we appeared to the world. He saw us as broken in need of a healer. He saw us as wayward sheep in need of a shepherd. He saw us as human beings made in the image of God.

Even now as we have been found and known by Him, our faith is still being made perfect, our sanctification is still a daily process. None of us have arrived yet.

And no one is beyond receiving His love and grace.

We should grieve the brokenness within us. We should grieve the brokenness within the church, the bride of Christ. We should grieve the brokenness rampant in a world so desperately in need of a Savior. And in our grief, we should take hold of the cross and look to the One full of mercy and grace. Jesus Christ came into the world to seek and save the lost.

I am a Christian, sought and found by Christ, and I grieve with those who grieve.

ORLANDO, FL – JUNE 13: April Ross wipes away tears after laying flowers at a makeshift memorial at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on June 13, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

One thought on “Orlando: June 2016

  1. Jere Watkins says:

    A reminder to me of His Grace and of the sin of my judgements. The picture of the young woman wiping away her tears and wearing a ball cap with the words I AM. What a poignant and powerful statement.

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