A nightclub. A safe place for LGBTQI+ people to be. A gunman. Many bullets. Fifty dead. And what do we do?
We ache. We mourn. We… we want some words to say that will give some help, but there are no words and so instead we sit with this pain that we feel, wondering why and how and when this will end. When will we stop killing each other? When will we stop grieving for those lives lost? When will hatred stop being the driving force behind our actions? When will we…
There are so many questions to be asked and yet no answers to be given, and on days like today, that has to be enough. This silence around the world – a helpless shrug that bears the weight of pain rather than apathy – is what is needed on days like today. We do not need political statements or agendas, we do not need religiosity to rear its head and declare the sin of those who we are grieving, we do not need to have more fear of Islam thrown our way.
We must ache together. We must draw together. We must rest our hands on one another’s shoulders and bear the burden together because on our own it will crush us. We cannot bear this on our own and I cannot imagine the burden those closer are bearing. I cannot imagine the trembling and fear Orlando are facing today. I cannot imagine the confusion people feel. I cannot get the image of phones of the deceased ringing incessantly as the first responders do their work out of my head. I cannot.
I don’t want to have to do this or feel this or think this, but here I am and here we are. Fifty lives lost because one gunman made his way into a club and opened fire. He had his reasons and they are abhorrent, but today… today is not a day for us to hate. There are Muslim men and women in our cities who mean no harm, who will be spat upon because our response to hate is so often more hate.
Today, let’s love. Let’s pray. Let’s ache together for this broken, torn apart world… and this ache isn’t enough, but perhaps this ache that leads us to love is enough for the moment. Tomorrow – maybe not even tomorrow, maybe in a month time – we can speak of policies and politics… But now is not the time.
And today, that is enough.