A Letter to Orlando

My phone buzzed with the breaking headlines from Fox News, “Deadliest mass shooting in American history… It could take several days to identify all of the victims.” I sighed in disbelief as my husband explained, “There’s been another shooting, this time at a nightclub in Orlando.”

I had a different blog post written and scheduled for today, but last night I deleted it from the queue. Another time perhaps, but not today. Today we must not talk politics, or point fingers, or have arguments, or agendas. Today we must simply mourn.

What happened yesterday could have occurred anywhere…in my town, in a nearby school, in a local theater, even in my church. We live our daily lives with a false illusion of safety—and with that grim realization, I write this letter to express my condolences.

Dear City of Orlando,

We are sorry for your tragedy and loss.

To the families, friends, and coworkers of the victims: We have no words to say that will ease or take away your pain, and so it is best to say very little. We are so sorry. We cannot understand your pain. We are praying for you.

To the police officers, firefighters, and paramedics: We pray for your mental and emotional healing, as you were the first ones on the scene. You must now process through the ugly and gruesome experiences you worked in yesterday. May God bring peace and restoration to your minds.

To the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff: You are still fighting to save the lives of those rescued. Your work is not over. May God give you strength and stamina as you continue caring for your many patients.

To the detectives and investigators: The world is watching and waiting on your discoveries. I do not envy your responsibilities. May God give you discernment, perception, and endurance to comb through the many details of this tragedy.

To the leaders of this nation: Scripture tells us we are to pray for you—our rulers and authorities—and so we pray for you. You will need much wisdom in the days ahead. (1 Tim. 2:1–4)

“For everything there is an appointed time…” (Ecc. 3:1–8)

Now is a time to weep, mourn, and love—keeping silent more than we speak.

(Photo courtesy of Lightstock)

Karla D. Zazueta is an architect-turned-discipleship-leader serving alongside her pastor-husband in Hispanic ministry both locally and abroad. She's also a mother to one furry feline and one adorable little boy. Karla has a M.A. in Christian Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary and a B.S. in Architectural Studies. She is the author of Discipleship for Hispanic Introverts. She was also a contributing author to the book, Vindicating the Vixens, with the essay "Mary Magdalene: Repainting Her Portrait of Misconceptions."