A sad week as many of us come to terms with the horrific shooting in Orlando that left 50 dead.
The hard part, for me, was the creeping, uncomfortable feeling that shootings like this indeed are the “new normal.” San Bernardino, Paris, Brussels, Charleston… one right after the other. And that list is without an even more horrific list for those caught in the violence of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Each new report of violence in some way – and hard words to find for this – somehow deadening us to the world around. Violence now the norm.
I don’t know but I can feel that slow shift in myself and I don’t like it.
This type of violence is not the norm. It is not what or who we are created to be. It degrades society, frays relationships, feeds ever widening spasms of hatred and retribution. All the things that we as Christians are called to stand against, allied with others from many faith traditions who hold to the same.
We are to stand. We are to stand against this darkness with love. Compassion. With a willingness to draw alongside of suffering in all its forms.
We are to speak. We are to speak of forgiveness. Of healing. Of a third way. Of moral imaginations able to chart new courses towards hope.
And that is what we can do.
That calls us to more than entertainment. To more than the next adventure. To more than the next must-have thing. It calls us to a deeper love, to, as the Greek in the Bible reads again and again, “agapé love”, a self-sacrificing love willing to embrace the greater good. The “we.” Serving there.
So this Sunday, we will light candles at the end of the service. We will gather. We will pray. We will remember.