Love to Orlando

Sunday morning I woke up to a chilling message.  Mass shooting in Orlando at Pulse club.. Call your friends please.  I  immediately called one of my best friends, heart squeezing in my chest,  and he confirmed the horrifying news.  Pulse the night club had been shot up.   A horrifying amount of innocent lives lay dead; many more had flooded Orlando Regional with injuries.  Yet another senseless shooting, an act of hate so devastating the ripple effects will last for years.  And as I lay face down on my bed that afternoon crying tears for the lives lost and  a city I called home for 9 years and still call my home, I asked God the question we have all asked “WHY.”

It is a simple question with a profound answer.  The “why” is being explored by law enforcement, government, news media, and human beings all over the world. Questions, so many questions, with difficult, if any, answers.  I don’t know the whole of the “why” but I know a part; hate.   Pure, unfiltered, no regard for another humans life, hate.

Martin Luther King Jr once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that. “   Love; pure, asking nothing in return, love.  Love is action.  As the hours of Sunday ticked off I saw post after post on Facebook about love in action. Thousands were standing in the Florida sun and summer heat to donate blood,   hundreds brought food, water, umbrellas, and handing it out to aid those standing in line.  Post after post of prayers being sent up, others opening homes, offering to pay for flights, the list goes on. Pure, asking nothing in return, love.

So often, it is talked about the first greatest commandment “Love the Lord your God with all your heart”, but seldom do we talk about the command he gave after that.   It is just as important as the first one.  In fact Jesus showed us in action after action, told us in story after story, yet we don’t talk about it.  What is that second command?  Love your neighbor as yourself.   LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.   The bible then goes on to read that no other commands are greater than these two.  (Mark 12:30-31)  I have rolled that around in my head, and it has echoed in my heart the last three days.  If we love Jesus we must love others too.  And love is action.  It is standing in line to donate blood, it is helping when and where we can.  It doesn’t matter how big or small the act is… it really doesn’t.  What matters is the love behind it.

Maybe we cannot make sense of this tragedy or the “why” behind it.  But we can love.  We can combat the war on terror by loving our neighbor as ourselves.  Not just in the wake of such violence, but every single day.  Every. Single. Day.  Choose love.  Choose to show love.  To act in love. Love is light and it drives out hate. And as Jesus so poignantly showed us at the cross, love wins. Every time.

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June 15, 2016. Uncategorized.

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