I’ve spent a lot of time thinking today. Thinking about Orlando, the city where my husband grew up. The city where half of my family lives. The city I’ve always thought of as the “Home of the Mouse”.
I’ve been thinking about the people who lost their lives. Thinking about their friends, their families. I’ve been thinking about the first responders…willing to put their lives on the line in order to save someone else’s. I’ve been thinking about the people in hospitals…wounded, scared, needing someone, anyone, to help them. Thinking about the brave doctors and nurses who did just that.
I’ve been thinking about the tragedy of it all. But if I’m honest, I’m tired of it being called a tragedy.
Because it needs to be called hate.
Hate killed these people. Hate destroyed lives. Hate walked into a venue with no goal other than death.
And it appears that Hate succeeded.
But it doesn’t have to.
Ya’ll, I’m so tired of it. I’m tired of hate furthering agendas. I’m tired of people fighting with those they don’t agree with. I’m tired of worrying about the world I’m leaving my son. I’m tired of seeing people I love and care about, ALL people, feeling defeated by a world that defines a win as hurting the other side…..with actions or with words.
I’m just tired.
And I’m wondering…..what if I’m not the only one? What if we could put all of the things that we’re against aside for just a few minutes, come together as a people, and maybe….just maybe….decide on just a few things that we’re all for.
Because I think if we try, we can find some things that we could all agree on.
I’ll bet we could agree that we all want a world that is safe for our children.
I’ll bet we could agree that we all want to be treated with kindness.
I’ll bet we could agree that we all would like to make our little corner of the world just a little bit better than it is.
Right now, I don’t want to talk about how we will do that. Right now I just want to grieve with those who grieve, and mourn with those who mourn.
I don’t want to talk about if my way is better than your way. There’s a time for that. But not right now.
I don’t want to talk about all of the things that honestly, we don’t ever really TALK about anyway.
Instead, we just argue about them.
I know there are many issues dividing our neighborhoods, our cities, our countries, and our world. I’m not naive enough to believe that these issues are easily solved. In fact, when I look at the scope of them, I’m overwhelmed with the enormity of it all. I also don’t have my head in the sand. These are serious issues. Life and death issues.
But I know this.
I do have a few choices.
I can be kind. I can be respectful. I can talk, and more importantly, I can listen.
I can believe in what I think to be true, without having to make an enemy of those who believe differently.
I can recognize that there may well be those who hate me and what I believe….but I can choose not to hate back.
I can’t rid the world of darkness. But I can do my absolute best to be a light in that darkness, because doing nothing is not an option.
I’m tired of people choosing hate.
I’m choosing love.
Love….because Jesus loves me.
Love….. because I am certain that if Jesus was physically walking this earth, that’s what He would be doing.
Love…..because it will be the catalyst for the change this world needs.
I will stand firm in my beliefs, and I will choose to love.
Will my choices change the world? Maybe not.
But they may change my little corner of it.
Because I refuse to let hate win.