I have a tendency to procrastinate from time to time. Sometimes, that impacts how late in the week I work on assembling the next week’s TS10. Last week was not one of those weeks. I was fairly pumped about the fact that I had this week’s playlist primed and ready to go a few days early. And then I woke up this morning and saw something about a mass shooting in Orlando. As the day has unfolded and more facts have emerged, my heart has grown increasingly heavy over the course of the day. That playlist I created no longer seemed relevant and I knew I needed to create a new one.
It would be enough for this terrible tragedy to be an isolated incident. However, part of why this impacts us so deeply is we see it in the context of an ever-increasingly troubling theme. More violence. More senseless, cowardly violence. It just keeps happening. All this hate. All this inane hate.
And then, in the wake of this extreme demonstration of terrifying hatred, horrifying violence, and deep loss, there is the tendency for some of to use such an occasion to push an agenda. Whether it’s the gun law lobbyist, the gay-hater, or the anti-Muslim, for some reason, we use tragedy to push what we think. Let’s not. Please, let’s not.
Instead, let us consider this. 50 people are dead. Brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters. Whatever other identifying characteristics they may have held are irrelevant in this moment. Hundreds of people have been deeply impacted in one way or another. Lives lost. Lives turned upside down. Worlds changed forever.
In light of this, I invite you to mourn with me. Let us stand with those who have suffered loss. Let’s heed the words of the apostle Paul, who invited the early church in Rome to “mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)
As I grieve, I am also recalling something I read from one of my favorite artists earlier today, Heath McNease: “For me…I simply cannot see another way out of this darkness than the redemptive power of the gospel…and the cross of Jesus Christ.” For some of you, that may seem simple or trite. For me, it is just truth. And that’s the hope I stand in, the hope that calls me to respond when I hear The Dust of Men’s Children Come Running as this TS10 reaches its climax.
No matter where you are and how you have been personally impacted by what happened in Orlando, my invitation to you is to allow yourself to be immersed in the feel of this playlist. Grieve. Feel. And maybe, just maybe, allow yourself to hope when it’s all said and done.