Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thoughts after Orlando

It’s been a painful, sad, heart-wrenching few days since the news broke from Orlando.  It hurts so deeply to see the pain, the tears, the loss.  There is a sense of helplessness as we watch our world sort of implode in high definition.  Then, the politicians start their ranting.  Hillary wants all the guns.  Trump wants to ban all travel to the US by Muslims.  Blah, blah, blah.  On and on.  Thank goodness for Christian love…except for that pastor in Sacramento who lamented the fact that the shooter didn’t finish the job.  Seriously?  How do you get from “Love your enemies” to that? 

How did we get so full of hate?

Then, again.  Are we really any more full of hate than we’ve ever been?  If you don’t twist the numbers to suit the story, Orlando wasn’t the deadliest mass shooting in US history.  Not even close.  Look up Wounded Knee in 1890.  Besides that one, there are still a few more that were larger—they were just a long time ago.  And, let’s not forget the institutional enslavement, abuse, and murder perpetrated against black folks over the last several hundred years.  Plus, the Irish have been hated, the Italians have been hated, the Japanese have been hated.  I could make nearly an endless list.

No, I don’t think there’s any more hate than there ever has been.  Rather, we’ve just redirected it toward new targets.

Folks, our solution is not going to be found in the November election.  Neither Clinton nor Trump holds the answers.  The world will not change unless we change our hearts.  Or, rather, unless we open our hearts and allow our creator to change them for us.  We have to set aside our anger and rage.  Then, we have to decide to try something new, something different.

Jesus said:  “You have heard that is was said to ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But, I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:43-44a

You know—maybe he really meant that.

Or, if you won’t listen to Jesus, would you care to consider these lyrics from Bill Backer, Billy Davis, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway:

I’d like to build the world a home

And furnish it with love

Grow apple trees and honeybees

And snow white turtle doves

I’d like to teach the world to sing

In perfect harmony

I’d like to hold it in my arms

And keep it company

Those are my thoughts for tonight.  Time for sleep.  Tomorrow is a new day, full of promise and opportunity.  I think I’ll look for someone to love.