This is my response to the recent tragedy that has taken place worldwide and that no one is talking about. Many of you may have seen that there was a tragic massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. You may have seen there were people killed and families destroyed. You may have seen people devastated trying to piece their lives together. It has been a nightmare to so many people. However, we have missed the greatest tragedy to hit our nation and its all because of this event – and others like it.
We have a nation in serious and radical celebration of hatred. It is affecting millions of people nationwide. It is destroying families, hurting those we love, tearing down strong homes and strong communities. Fireworks of flaming words are bursting in our skies and we are blind.
Many people are shouting THANK YOU to the recent tragedies in Orlando. They have provided reprieve from boredom and an opportunity for celebrity to so many people. Keyboards have been worn down to the core, throats are sore and the word count in the blogosphere has even outdone the Ellen internet break. The veil of the internet has been set on fire and we are witness to the nightmare sure to destroy our future hope.
This recent tragedy in Orlando – while heartbreaking for some families, is a celebration for people who hate – people who hate guns, hate gays, hate muslims. This tragedy brought about a trifecta of hate celebration.
I have read multiple articles from each group manipulating this scene for their own personal benefit. I see people crying because of gun violence, crying because gay people are evil, crying because muslims have destroyed our world. Crying because there might even be gay gun carrying muslims walking the streets!!
If this is you your eyes are probably so glazed over from the war path you’ve been blazing that you can’t hear this next part – but I sorry to have to tell you that guns, gays and muslims are actually not the problem. Honestly, they aren’t even a problem at all.
*breathe* *take deep breaths*
I would like to be very clear with the truth – HATE is destroying our world. Each one of you who threw your own brew of fire on this tragedy – no matter how noble – has grown the flames of death and destruction.
To those of you who have developed opinions about the people involved based on a label they have – I ask you 3 questions:
1.) Why do you hate gay people? Or Muslims? Or Gun violence?
Oh I know this one some of you are feeling good about skipping – You say you don’t hate them. You just care about them and others. You say its because God cares. You say its because you don’t want to see anyone burn in hell. You say its because you want to protect our country. You say its because you can’t stand to see violence. You say guns, gays & muslims are hurting people, killing people.
My response to you is if you believe these things are truly killing people – what are you doing to save people?
Have you gotten to know any of these people? Here is a better question, have you gotten to know ANY people? Have you gone to your neighbors house and asked how they are doing? Have you spent time asking questions and listening? Have you prayed for anyone sincerely to have their lives radically changed by the LOVE of Jesus? Have you taken a meal to someone in need? Have you sent a letter to someone encouraging them? Have you spent as much time trying to save people as you have hating the people you are afraid of?
I would like to ask that we all stop focusing on what might be terribly wrong with this world and instead ask what we can do to make something terribly right in this world. Each one of us has been equipped with some measure that can be poured out into the world to make it better and I guarantee you it isn’t in the form of hate or judgy opinions. And just for the record any of the prayers that include “bless their heart” is a special form of hate with some lipstick. Let’s just stop.
2,) How long have you lived like Jesus?
I mean I assume you are perfect and have not struggled with anything before. I have to assume this because the velocity with which your spears are flying in the air suggest to me that you are standing firm on a foundation of perfection ready to field any spears that may fly your way. Im sure you looked deep inside yourself and came up empty handed when looking for times of self doubt, insecurity, loneliness and fear. I am sure when you dug really deep before you shared your hate filled opinion you were remiss to find any times you were living a life someone didn’t agree with. I am sure if I came and examined your life I would find that you live wonderfully, full of encouragement, never gossiping, never looking at porn or overeating, overspending or over sleeping. I am sure that your life is lived with the utmost for his highest and you are slaving over saving lives.
The truth is every single one of us is living a life that we weren’t created to live. Romans 3:23 say ALL have sinned. EVERY ONE OF US. None of us can look at another person and say – you have sinned – without looking right back at ourselves and saying the same thing.
But guns kill people. Muslims kill people. Gay people kill people. My sin doesn’t kill anyone. Or does it? What do you think your sin is doing inside of your own heart? Is it birthing life or slowly creeping toward the death of joy and happiness? What do you think nasty words do inside the heart of others. What do you think those “small” sins are doing in every cell they are infecting? Trust me, because I have done this to myself, they are tumbling over and over eachother waging a much uglier and more private war than the ones we see splashed all over the media.
I would like to encourage us to all take a mirror, look deeply at the log shoved in our own eye and try to wrench that thing out before we get busy trying to pluck splinters out of someone else’s.
3.) What can you DO today?
Reading this blog post, even writing this blog post, takes very little effort on our part. We sit down and look at black letters typed on some screen. We are probably comfortably waiting in a chair, probably with air conditioning blowing on our faces and maybe have a nice afternoon snack.
The most important thing to do today is understand that each one of us is broken. No one is alone on an island. Every insecurity you and I have has a community of people thinking they are alone. WE ARE BROKEN, BUT WE ARE NOT ALONE.
So maybe our hearts changed a little, maybe our minds changed a little but what should our bodies do?
We are broken BUT we are useful. Even in the very depths of tragedy you are useful to someone else. You may feel like you have nothing to give, I promise there’s a penny you didn’t know about in your other pocket.
Today you can text someone and tell them you love them, ask how they are doing and if you can pray for them. Today you can get to know your neighbor. Today you can pray for someone whose heart may be broken. Today you can pray for the gun owners and THEIR safety. Today you can pray for LGBT people and THEIR relationships. Today you can pray for muslims and THEIR fears.
I know its scary but if we truly care and truly want to see an end to violence and destruction, LOVE is the only way.
Moving Forward in Love,
Mikala Janse van Rensburg
***For more articles from Mikala visit her blog at www.peaceloveandchurch.com