Each Sunday morning before coming into church I check the New York Times website. What happened overnight? What news might color the morning's worship? An earthquake half way around the world, the death of a world leader, or perhaps some other disaster closer to home? Whom and what should we pray for.
By the time I prayed at around 8:25 a.m. yesterday, it became clear to me that many had not heard the news about the mass killings in Orlando overnight. I had heard there were 20 casualties, which is beyond horrific. By the time church services ended by 11:00 a.m., the number of dead had climbed to 50. 50+ injured. No words.
We seem to be in no-man's land when it comes to these mass shootings. The record player is stuck. We react that way react. We diagnose the perpetrator and ills and brokenness in our society. We become expects on Islam. And global terrorism. And we want to crawl into bed and take a long nap.
I don't know what the way out of all of this is for our nation. Post-Newtown made me a realistic if not total cynic about the power of the NRA to control the narrative and Congress to fall in line. I thought rooms of murdered children would create change: it did not.
May God call us out the corners we revert to into situations of horrific violence. Yes, we are numb and tired of these events being routine. So what can we do.
Pray for the victims. Pray for our nation. Get informed. Vote your conscience. Act as you are moved. Donate blood. Sign up to help shelter the homeless. Drop off items to a food pantry. Smile at the cashier. Take a walk. Sit in silence. Give thanks for green leaves filling the trees.
Be part of creation. Be humble. Listen. Leave room for tears, remembrances, joy, tolerance, pride and God's sense of justice.
Lord have mercy.