I spent last week like many of you in coming to terms with the events in Orlando. I have read with tears the outpouring of love and support towards the family members who have the difficult task of burying their loved ones and finding a way to move forward.
I have also recoiled in horror at the comments by a state elected official who posted on his social media pages a bible verse stating a man ‘reaps what he sows’ only hours after the event. It took HOURS for him to delete the passage and HOURS more for him to blame his staff claiming they ‘prescheduled’ the post.
So oopsy-poopsies, he didn’t mean to you select sinners who just lost your life, but rather all you other mother-effers who don’t live your life according to his code. In his not-an-apology post, he also states we need to band together and they are the enemy and we should hate them. They being all those people who use senseless, vulgar, hate as a weapon. (Um, a quick google check shows the first crusades when we attacked them was in 1095. So technically – technically, they don’t have the lead on being blood thirsty jackholes.)
This caused me to cringe because like me, this man and many many others, we claim to be Christians. I tend to keep my religion private. Don’t think I’m afraid to call myself a Christian but my relationship with God is sacred to me. Flash and dazzle are not part of my personal belief. Others are free to choose their own path.
I was looking for a way to justify this kind of reaction.
I found some in my faith and an email from the pastor at my church. The preacher wrote “evil is evil, no matter what kind of mask covers its face”. He pointed out there are RADICAL members IN ALL RELIGIONS and that hate does not hide in just one faith alone.
He pointed out that when we baptize an infant/ child, we stand as a group of parents, family, friends, and strangers and promise to help this child. PERIOD. There is no: but not if they are ‘colored’ or ‘oriented’ or anything different than our own reflection. LOVE THE CHILD. It is a difficult charge – loving everyone, even those who sin against you or your family or your community or your belief or your anything.
It’s called GRACE.
It’s not hiding the anger, the hurt, the sadness; it’s not forgetting or refusing to know the truth; it’s not hiding like an ostrich and hoping it all goes away. It is admitting that we are all troubled; we all sin. It is learning to understand the emotion; understanding that people can live a life different than yours without your approval or judgment. In my faith, you admit you are human and sin; you beg forgiveness; you try to live a better life today than yesterday. In my belief, you weep with all families – the innocent and the guilty.
I do not know any of the victims or their families and refuse to trivialize their deaths with my musings and need for explanations. I cannot. So I move forward with a promise of hope, love, sadness, understanding that others are beyond my control, and faith. A promise to love the child – all of the child – not just his cuteness, but his tantrums too.
It’s called GRACE.