We already know that the guman’s father has said that his son acted because of antigay beliefs. So his interpretation of his religion led him to kill scores of people.
Like many on my Facebook feed, my heart is breaking. I’m so sad. I awoke this morning happy. It is Eric’s birthday. We had plans to go to church and then to brunch for yet another birthday celebration. A few miles down the road, West Hollywood was preparing for its annual LGBT Pride Parade. What a festive day this could have been.
And now, we find ourselves glued to our televisions and checking our news feeds on our phones. Waiting for details. Trying to understand.
I know that I won’t ever really understand.
I don’t know how the day will unfold but, after a quick swim, I’m heading to church. I want to pray for the victims, pray for the families, pray for my LGBT brothers and sisters, prayer for my fellow Christians.
An old southern gospel song has returned to me. I don’t even have a recollection of liking it but this morning it is a salve.
Where could I go, where could I go. Seeking a refuge for my soul. Needing a friend to help me in the end. Where could I but go to the Lord. Where could I but go to the Lord
Is there irony that some people’s interpretations of their religions think that gives them license, even explanation, to murder others and here I am turning to God and my church for comfort? For understanding. For guidance.
Because this is a Sunday, I find myself wondering what is being said this morning in houses of worship throughout this nation. Are there churches not even addressing it? Are there churches teaching that these people had it coming? Are there churches praying with compassion but tacking on the addendum, “Also, dear God, let’s let this be an opportunity for these people to turn from their sinful lifestyle.”? Probably all of the above.
If this tragedy had happened six months ago, I would have turned to all the usual channels for solace. Eric, my dogs, my parents, my friends, Facebook. (All very good support systems, I might add.) But this morning, it is different. And I feel grateful I have a church now. I can stuff my burdens into a satchel and I can walk into a house of God and lay those burdens before a magnificent altar. And my church will mourn with me.
Will I ever understand any of it? Probably not, but I might find some comfort on an extraordinarily heartbreaking day.