Sunday morning, I was relaxing before Mass and trolling Facebook, gram, news, checking email to keep me sane until other people were ready to go. As I scanned through I saw news about a shooting at a club in Orlando. Again. Another shooting. I remind myself to stop checking the news because it is seriously ALWAYS negative. And oh my goodness…….every flippin’ day there is a shooting/carjacking/robbery in Orlando. Every. Day. I’m numb. It infuriates me every time I read it. And so I just passed right on by the story.
After Mass, we had a few birthday errands to run for our littlest and by the time we swung back around to get the Hubs after helping out at the K of C pancakes, I had heard. Our church actually had a Big Red Bus that day. I figured I’d try and donate (if my iron would allow it) and the line y’all. The. Line. There was no way I’d be able to donate before they shut down at 1. It was only 11:30. The buses are generally staffed for a few people at a time. They are not equipped to deal with the demand that this Sunday brought.
And so I chewed on this tragedy all day long. I’m still chewing. And I’m pissed. Again. Another person with another assault weapon takes their agenda out on innocent bystanders. People who think differently. People who live differently. People who pray differently. All fair game. No regard to the preciousness of life. Irrational. Selfish. And it is in these moments that I struggle the most with my faith and with the evil that runs among us. I contemplate the glory of a commune in the middle of nowhere.
Such hate in the heart of people. But hate breeds hate. And I feel it when I begin to hate these people who commit these atrocious acts. Again and again and again.
This was a a hate crime. This was an act of selfishness. And the city responded. With blood donations. With social media startups to care for pets of those killed and harmed. Jet Blue responded with free flights to immediate family members of the victims. And it continues to grow. Because people want to help.
But are we all #Orlando? This mass attack is but one in a chilling line of attacks. Terrorists. Mentally ill. Lone wolves. Call it what you want. It’s all hate. It’s all terror. And Americans respond. For a time. And then life goes on. Which is what we must do. But do we live differently? Do we respond to others differently? Are we more loving and kind? Patient? Sincere? Willing to give up a Saturday to wait in hot lines to donate blood? I hope so. I hope so. I saw this today and it has resonated with me all day. Let us all be #Orlando. Even after the darkness passes. Especially after the darkness passes.