This one is a hard post to write tonight. My heart is torn in so many ways, my mind still numb from current events.
Last night, as my city celebrated winning the Cup, another city was in shock over an attack, the brutalist of modern history. Here I was, just living life, tweeting, blogging, watching the game…trying anything I could not to have to think. Not to think of words. Not to think what if it had been someone I loved. Not to…anything.
But I woke today, thinking I should have some thoughts. Something. Anything. And I was still numb, still trying to move on with life life it’s normal – but it’s not.
We Americans are lucky, even in the midst of terror and attacks and numbness and what if. We were founded on freedom, and because of that, we are free from so many oppressive situations that many others in the world find themselves in. Even though we are free, it doesn’t change the fact that hate still exists, that terror is still real, that we live in a post-9/11 world of “what next”. This is our reality.
I still cannot find words. I’m scared of my words. I’m scared they’ll be twisted and turned, my friends on the left thinking I am not doing or saying enough; my friends on the right asking how I can love like I do, how I can be so accepting. I feel in a horrible, awful place…but I know it could be worse…so I am numb.
When I am numb, I go to do the one thing that I feel is right, and that’s talk to the Lord. Tonight, he spoke back to me, urging me to find the stance of the church I grew up in and what they might say to offer me some solace in my numbness. This is what I found, and this is what I’ll lean on tonight…praying it helps me feel better about my lack of saying anything at all.
United Methodists across the world are horrified by the despicable act of terrorism in Orlando, Florida, that took the lives of 49 individuals and wounded 53 others.
We are in shock. We join those who grieve. We pray for the victims, their families, and the LGBTQ community targeted by this hateful attack. We stand against all forms of violence, committed anywhere in the world by anyone.
As the people called United Methodist, let us not lose heart, but redouble our commitment and efforts to fulfill God’s vision of the Beloved Community throughout the world. As we combat evil, let us not let evil fill our hearts. As we struggle to end violence, let us not let violence become our way of life. As we battle terrorism, let us not become terrorists in the process. As we seek to be vigilant, let us not let fear curtail our hospitality. As we pray for peace, let it begin within our own spirits.
(The quote above is from Bishop Bruce R. Ough, United Methodist Council of Bishops President. It was found here.)