Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings. ― Helen Keller
I’m angry. Still. I’m angry because people are dead. I’m angry because an unstable man with access to military grade weapons took the lives of forty-nine beautiful people and altered the worlds of countless more.
I’m angry because many Christians are silent – with deafening silence.
Why are all churches not lamenting, breaking beyond belief? Why did I go to church yesterday, a church not my own, and Orlando was not mentioned, nor alluded to? Nothing was spoken, no prayer, no comment.
Why? Is it because these men and women were gay? Or Latino? Is it because they were in a nightclub? Could it be because of the politics around the gun debate? Is it because of Isis?
Why has there been little mention? Why was my Facebook feed littered with French flags last November, and on our own soil, Orlando, nary a tear?
This tragedy, why are we as Christians not broken beyond belief? Why are our eyes not burning from the tears and sweat? How do we contain ourselves?
The strange and unwieldy disconnect is harmful, the cognitive dissonance too much. Our nation was rocked. Our world tipped. Safety in our sanctuaries once again violated.
Why are the Christians so quiet? The few who have spoken are yelling, crying out to be heard.
Is this our definition of loving the sinner and hate the sin? Is this how we say I love you to the LGBTQ community, a community that is aching and fighting for equality and security? I’m not seeing much love.
Did your church mention Orlando? Did your church say the names and weep and mourn? Did your pastor choke up over bodies broken and dead, over mothers and fathers, lovers and friends who lost their favorite people?
Can God turn Her back? Is this possible? For so long I thought, as a Christian, I had the answers, that I was the chosen. Now I’m not so sure. I’m not so sure that Christian holds the power it used to. I’m not so sure, this being known for our fear and deafening silence is serving our work of love. I’m not so sure God isn’t shaking Her head in wonderment and disappointment. Could God be fed up? I wish I could give an unequivocal No.
This is the work we must do, church. This is the responsibility we must own, to be louder than the voices of condemnation and hate and homophobia and disregard. This is the task we are given, to bear the light of hope, justice and mercy.
Who led us to believe the work of love was easy, with pat answers and condemnation of “sin”? Who told us the desires of our hearts were wrong? Who told us our insides were not to be trusted?
Clearly I am more questions than answers. I am devastated, disappointed, pained by the people I love. The people I love who have stayed quiet and the people I love piled on the floor and in bathroom stalls of a dance club because of fear and hate.
Fifty of our brothers and sisters are broken, their bodies splayed, terror stricken upon their forms. Phones ringing, slicing the silence, loved ones waiting for news, for something. Brothers and sisters, wives and husbands, fathers and mothers, friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow Christians.
These are our people, Church. These are our hearts. We belong to each other. When one part of the body aches, we all ache. When one part of the body dies, we all die.
Where is our lament, our collective grief? Where is our empathy?
When will things change? When will people be embraced because we are all human, children of God, bearing God’s image? When will relief be felt?
I am beginning to see churches tip toward love and mercy, grace and abundance. I am noticing pockets of welcome, inclusion, celebration and freedom. I am witnessing love at its finest. I pray soon we are known and recognized not for our stances on hot topic issues but for our rushing in and toward. I pray the day comes when our words and our actions line up with our instructions, as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
I pray, when our fellow humans hurt, we will work together, in tandem, providing and aligning our humanity, bringing relief to the broken and overwhelmed parts of our world, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, age. I pray we can love together with ferocity and fullness, shining light into the ache, supplying cold water to the thirsty and bread for the hungry, enacting change to the systems.
May we stand firm and steady in love and defy what appears otherwise.