I was watching the news coverage of the tragedy in Orlando the other night…so horrible, so senseless, so violent….
But then I saw something else, and it made me think….what I saw was the reaction of people who maybe suddenly saw that the LGBT community was something to be protected. It seemed as though the very horror, the very senselessness was a wake-up call to people who might otherwise not have been able to relate to a group of people they saw as “other.”
We’ve all had a certain amount of training in terror…all the shootings, all the attacks. The outpouring of sympathy and support that follows these tragedies is important, because it does push forward, into our own consciousness, our basic humanity and its ability to feel emotion and offer caring in whatever way we can.
So I started to think about what might come forth from this catastrophe. It’s already happened, we can’t undo it, much as we might like to. Now we have the job (if we choose to accept the assignment) of bringing what good we can out of the wreckage. And wouldn’t it be a kind of blessing if what came forth was more people feeling for the LGBT community, and all “other” communities; more people realizing that “other” is not as other as all that, maybe to their own surprise?
What if the point of their deaths and their injuries was to bring in a sense of connection between a community that has had more than its fair share of hatred, and a lot of people who previously could not see their humanity and their basic value? What if the life and death of a group of innocents is what it takes to make people see what they could not see before?
I’m choosing this perspective so that I can say “Thank you, bless you,” to the dead, to the injured, to the frightened. Thank you for participating in this extreme situation so that the ones remaining could perhaps be pushed towards growth. Thank you for opening our hearts to your sacrifice. May we all progress to a broader understanding, that all lives have value, and deserve respect and care…and that is the task of the living.
Bless you for your life and your sacrifice, may it not be in vain.