Once again, here we are discussing a tragic loss of life. Someone had no regard for anyone but himself, was full of hatred, and took 50 lives. FIFTY. It’s absolutely unfathomable. Fifty families shattered by hatred. Fifty mothers who will never hold their child again. Fifty families who will forever be plaqued by guilt and what-ifs. Fifty friends whose lives were shortened and taken too soon from the friends around them. Fifty people who could have been beacons of light in a dark world. Fifty human beings whose full potential the world will never see because ONE PERSON decided they weren’t worthy of living life. I can’t explain how much this hurts me. I can’t imagine how much these families are hurting. I can try, though.
Let me explain: On June 8th, my brother, Richard, would have been 25. It’s been five years since his death and it still hurts when that day rolls around. Richard was funny, sweet, kind, and sassy. Richard was also gay. And when he felt he could no longer deal with the condemnation, the ugliness, the hatred the world had to give him, he took his own life. He was 20 years old. TWENTY. I’ve thought many times of our conversations growing up: when he first started thinking he was gay, what his dad would say and do to him, what had happened to him in the past, and when he realized that God loved him despite his sins- a revelation I wouldn’t come to until later. This amazing Guy’s life, too, was cut short due to hatred and ugliness.
Romans 12:2 says, “2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
So whatever the world is doing, we should be doing the opposite. We should being showing a community rocked by hatred and confusion that there is a God who loves them and died for them, FOR US, in spite of ourselves and our sin.
Do you curse, get drunk, say ugly things, judge, have sex outside marriage, take the Lord’s name in vain, overeat, gossip? The bible says in 1 John 1:10, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” We have all sinned. So to use “righteous condemnation” to justify being ugly to the homosexual community is nothing short of hypocrisy. We ALL sin. No sin is greater than the other. Instead of acting like the world and either blindly accepting homosexuality or spewing hatred, why don’t we try something new? Let’s try the love of God.
Let’s show that love right now to a community who is hurting, who has been targeted by worldly hatred and absolute rage and judgement. Let’s pray for them and with them. Let’s show them the mercy and grace of God. Let’s stand FOR them and WITH them as people, as creations of a mighty God and as Americans and BE THE LIGHT.
We have an opportunity here to show something the Church has been missing for so long: compassion, mercy, and grace. Ask God to move your heart AND theirs.
Show them He will comfort them. Allow Him to guide your steps, your words, and your prayers.
Then, go out into the world and share the Gospel.
**To family and loved ones left behind, I’m so, so sorry. I can’t explain to you how I’ve cried for you and with you. I pray you find peace. While it never goes away, it does get easier, but there will always be scar tissue there. There will also be memories of how you loved.
Love to my loves,
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