Yet another senseless act of violence has occurred, devastating the lives of many people. The level of hatred in this world seems to have compounded itself instantly, and rather than have compassion for the plight of so many others who are wandering around lost, people accuse, pointing with crooked fingers. As I ponder the events of this past weekend and the reactions of the media and the public, I come to this conclusion: There are two certainties in this world: We are all guilty of something, and somehow God loves us anyway.
I’m not sure anyone really understands that anymore because we are too busy blaming others for the deterioration of society. The Christians are diehard fanatics, the Jews are greedy, or the Muslims are killers. None of that is true. Each of these groups are made up of individuals who may or may not demonstrate any of these or other characteristics. Unfortunately, society as a whole will put a label on you and push you down to the ground unless you completely turn your life around to meet society’s standards. Interestingly enough, society isn’t quite sure what it’s standards really are, so it may be a while before you are able to meet them, no matter how hard you try.
I have really tried to focus on my reaction to this tragedy to see just how lost I am. When I first heard about it, I was shocked briefly, and then simply saddened at the thought of so much life lost. Here’s a kicker for you, I found out about 3 hours later that the people who were killed were in a gay bar and were more than likely living that kind of lifestyle. Another brief and shocking thought came to my head, “They deserved it.” WHAT???
The condemnation that immediately filled my heart and soul brought me back to reality. I’m just as guilty as anyone simply because that was in my head, because if it was in my head so quickly, it very well could be in my heart. If it’s in my heart, then I am the worst hypocrite ever. Needless to say, I am disgusted with myself, but that brings me back to my conclusion in the first paragraph. WE ARE ALL GUILTY OF SOMETHING AND YET, GOD LOVES US ANYWAY.
To love someone doesn’t mean to force them to become what you want. It doesn’t even necessarily mean that you have an active relationship with them. It simply means that you care, doesn’t it? God may not have an active relationship with any of us, but He still loves us. The only problem is, we expect Him to intervene for us without being active in a relationship with Him. That’s not how it works, but for some reason that’s what we expect and still, we act surprised when it doesn’t happen for us.
Fact: God will forgive the shooter just as quickly as He will forgive the victim. All they have to do is ask sincerely and start spending time learning Who God is and what He expects from us in our relationship. The more we get to know God, the more we see how desperately we need Him. We are constantly talking to Him, knowing that without His love, we would be lost forever. We admit our desperate need for Him and relinquish our control, having comfort that whatever happens, we will be able to rest in Him and in peace.
We don’t think that way, though, do we? We are too busy waiting for the media reports to find out how twisted and deranged the criminal was, and then look for someone to be held accountable. We enjoy watching someone we believe is evil squirm in their misery, and if the perpetrator happens to be deceased, then we find someone to blame for the perp’s actions or attitudes. Someone must take the blame and it certainly isn’t going to be us.
As I write this, I know in my heart that we are in big trouble. Orlando is only one of many places who have experienced this sensational tragedy, but contrary to what the media reports, it’s not the worst. I think the worst tragedy is our reaction to this type of horror and our meager suggestions to fix the problem by trying to make guns harder to get are misplaced and unfortunate. We were made to love, no matter if we agree with each other or not, we were meant to be supportive and helpful. When tragedy strikes, this happens briefly, but then we go back to our safe little selfish lives, pointing our crooked fingers yet again at those who disagree with us. Until we realize this and learn how to love unconditionally (and God is the only perfect example), we will continue to destroy ourselves and wonder why. As I said, we are in big trouble.