Waves of sadness washed over me as I woke up to the news of a mass shooting in a gay night club in Orlando, Florida. As my Sunday morning routine progressed, I fought tears off and on. At the first song during worship at church I sat down and tears flowed and I prayed for the LGBT community in Orlando. I prayed for my gay identified friends who must feel targeted and fearful right now. In addition, I am certain there is anger and confusion about why and how such a horrific thing could happen.
Throughout the day I had similar emotions and questions have been racing through my head. Being a woman who identified as lesbian for the majority of my life, I understand what a low blow this is to the LGBT community. My drive for social justice has been challenged on some levels today. Yet the sorrow and sadness just returns in waves.
Here is my initial response to this senseless violence:
No matter what your personal or religious beliefs are about members of the LGBT community; hate and violence are never the answer.
Gay, Lesbian, Bi, and transgendered people are people created by God and He values their lives. Let me take that a step further; black lives matter; gay lives matter; all lives matter. God does not take delight in the violent death of anyone; regardless of their ethnic background, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
As a Christian, I can’t condone this violent act against the LGBT people in Orlando. Furthermore , the Bible calls me to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15).
I strongly feel that the Body of Christ must reach out in love to the their LGBT family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers, exercising compassion and empathy.
As I mentioned earlier this is a season of uncertainty and fear for many people within the LGBT community across the USA. On the same day of this shooting, another incident was reported out of LA of a man arrested who was armed with weapons and explosives at a local pride event. All of this must be inducing fear and a sense of feeling targeted deep within the LGBT community. My fellow Christians, we must be the voice, hands and feet of Jesus, offering safety and understanding to this community.
Above all else, friends, we must pray for the LGBT community as a whole and for those in our lives we are connected to.
Orlando has caused me to take pause and pray more diligently for my gay friends and local LGBT community. It has helped me to realize I need to become even more proactive in walking beside them. I must grieve with them and offer them the hope within me which is Christ Jesus.
Join with me, Jesus I lift up the City of Orlando and the LGBT community there. I ask that what man has meant for evil, You, God will turn into good. I ask that during this season of grief and loss You would draw near to the brokenhearted and comfort those who weep. May this be an opportunity for many to come to know You .
Orlando, I am praying for you.