“I’m gonna die Mom.”
I can’t imagine being the mother of the young man who texted this sentence in the wee hours of the morning, from the club in Orlando being attacked; the helplessness she must have felt, how her heart must have been breaking. I can’t imagine how he felt as he texted, nor can I begin to understand the depth of fear and dread he, along with every person there, must have suffered. I don’t know specifics nor do I personally know anyone who was at the club. What I do know is this…
It has to stop. “It” being the hate, the violence, the “I’m better than you” attitudes, the “I don’t agree with you - so I’m your enemy”; the “God hates ______ people” (fill in the blank with every single word that you’ve heard over the years defining “groups” of people); and every other thing we are saying and doing to tear each other apart.
God didn’t do this. An evil, hate filled man did this. This was an Islamic extremist and he (had he lived), along with every other person who makes the choice to perform such horrific acts, should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. We can recognize - this time it was a club in the United States – this year alone it’s been France, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Bangladesh, Yemen, Belgium, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Egypt, Libya and who knows how many more? There’s no rhyme or reason and no-one is immune. When and who they choose as their target of hate can’t be predicted because that’s what hate is….ugly, violent, unpredictable and destructive.
I can’t help but wonder if each of us allowed God to be a part of our everyday, if we pray to Him before the attacks, before we begin our days, before the meetings where decisions are made in government, before we choose to spread the hatred of our differences, before we remove every trace of Him in our communities, before we allow our children to play hate promoting video games, before we complain about how horrible our lives are…..maybe then our government would be making wiser choices as to what to do to these extremists; maybe our communities would become stronger; maybe we would know who are neighbors are and want to reach out and help; maybe our children would begin playing outside again; maybe – just maybe, we could once again be truly “One Nation Under God” and our lives would be better; because how we’re doing it now – clearly isn’t working.