It is very disturbing to read the unfolding news about the mass shooting yesterday in Orlando. A muslim security guard, armed with a semi-automatic machine gun, entered a gay bar in Orlando and began shooting. He was confronted by an off-duty police officer and manuevered into the bathroom where he maintained a stand-off for three hours while the Orlando police and emergency services worked to protect and rescue victims from the carnage and violence. Of course this story is continuing to unfold in the news and I have no doubt more information will come to light over time.
In the political world, various leaders are advocating better gun control laws, some leaders are rallying support for the LGBT community and many leaders are blaming the immigration struggles with which the US is wrestling.
As a follower of Jesus, it is my sincere prayer that my community rallies around the words of Jesus more than the world of hate. There are some people who would try to explain that because this was an attack on a gay bar, God is expressing His judgement and wrath on the homosexual community. There are other folk who would seek to ostracize muslims because of this violent atrocity.
Seems to me that when Jesus was hanging on the cross, He didn’t ask the Father to get revenge on these wicked, violent and undeserving sinners. He asked the Father to forgive the people who violently beat, condemned and hung Him on a cross – the most innocent and pure human to ever grace the human race. May our words and actions be overflowing with the grace and love that have been so richly lavished on us. Let us freely give what we have so abundantly received. We need the Holy Spirit to work into our thoughts and actions the redeeming life of Christ.
Yesterday our country saw another violent atrocity happen whose victims were mostly small little children. As I’ve learned about the events over the last 24 hours, I find myself beyond sad, angry, frustrated, shocked and incredibly disturbed. Over the next several weeks, we’ll learn about the families of various victims & the shooter. We’ll hear clamorous demands for gun control and politicians expressing sorrow and sympathy. Some of us will try to understand what causes a person to do such unthinkable violence and we will all have this sick and empty pit in our guts as we learn how this tragedy unfolded.
If there is anything good that come out of this atrocity, let’s decided that whenever we hear or discuss news related to the events from Friday, December 14th, we will pray – be that a short prayer, an intense prayer, a long prayer, or just a simple prayer. Let’s pray for the families of the victims, the children at the elementary school, the family of the shooter, the school’s teachers and administrators, . . . . Let’s allow these horrific events to make us more prayerful and spiritual people.
Presently I’m riding in a tuk tuk (taxi in Cambodia) & we are driving out to the killing fields. Thirty five years ago in Cambodia, this country was ruled by a very violent regime called te Khmer Rouge. Some historians estimate that the KR killed up to 20% of the people in Cambodia in approximately 4 years. So we are now driving to an area that was one of the places where thousands upon thousands were killed – this area has been preserved in commemoration of the nameless thousands & millions who were killed under this despotic regime.
I’ve just finished going thru this memorial & all I can say is unbelievable. Let me gather my thoughts for a few minutes & I’ll come back to you.
While walking thru this memorial, I looked at the ground on the path where I was walking only to discover bone fragments, clothing remains & teeth. When it rains here, these things get pushed up to the surface of the soil. This is very unsettling & disturbing. They’ve found almost 9,000 corpses so far. I’m at a loss for words.
Maybe some of this experience will give me even more resolve with saving Moses to help make a better future than the recent past.