In the aftermath of such horrific attacks and unspeakable violence in Florida, there is no doubt that evil is impossible to comprehend. If you are like me you watch the news, read the stories, pray and grieve for those hurt in this tragedy; and then you try to understand. But, there isn’t any understanding.
As a woman, a mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend, I cannot begin to imagine the pain, shock and terror those in the club endured that night. Nor can I imagine the grief of those who have lost someone in this horribly violent act. Those who survived will forever live with the memories of that night. Their lives are irreparably changed.
Forty nine families will have one less person at their table. There is nothing that can be done or said to bring their loved one back. When the shock starts to dissipate and the reality of daily living returns, emptiness and grief will come in waves. Anyone who has lost a loved one can understand that aspect of their pain. But, few will understand the horror of how their loved one’s life ended and the tape that will roll in their minds over and over.
My heart aches and is deeply grieved for all those who endured such a sickening and senseless act of hate, cruelty, and brutality. The heartlessness of acts like this is something my mind and heart will never comprehend or ever “get used to.” It makes me physically ill.
As I heard story after story from survivors, all I could think is what could anyone possibly say to someone in their position? What do we say to our children who hear of these atrocities?
First and foremost, I think you acknowledge that there are no words to be spoken, except how terribly sorry and grieved you are for them. But, God does not call us to live in fear.
Isaiah 41:10New International Version (NIV)says,
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Second, when someone wants to know why, we can’t possibly explain senseless violence and alleviate their grief. When we are asked why, I believe we answer with who. Satan is alive and well. He is looking to deceive and to destroy. It was him in that club that night.
1 Peter 5:8New International Version (NIV)
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
But it will not always be so. God is going to return and if we believe in Him and accept the free gift of salvation through His Son’s death on the cross, for our sin, then we will be in eternity with Him. An eternity where there is no pain, no suffering, no death, no tears. The only way to get through something like this is to wholly focus our eyes on Christ and allow Him back into our schools, our homes, our hearts and our country.
John 14:1-3New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Comforts His Disciples
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
As a believer and follower of Christ, and as a fellow human, I believe we must cry out to God above for forgiveness, mercy and protection of our country and fellow Americans. Next, regardless of our views on LGBT, we must remember our humanity and with genuine love and kindness in our hearts to reach out in love, mercy and grace to those affected by this tragedy—because if we don’t, who is going to show them Christ’s love?
So how do you explain this to your child?
1. You give them only the information that is appropriate for their age.
2. Do not let little ones in the room when you have the news on. Protect them.
3. Reassure your children that even when you are not with them, God is. And last of all but most important.
4. Pray. Pray for our nation. Pray for our leaders. Pray for protection over your family and your children.
Hebrews 13:20-25New International Version (NIV)
Benediction and Final Greetings
20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
22 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly.
23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.
24 Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.
25 Grace be with you all.