By: Charity Sandstrom
Note: Charity Sandstrom is a friend of mine and her words about the Orlando shooting are so poignant that I needed to share them. You can read more of Charity's posts here: https://refreshinglifeblog.wordpress.com
My heart is broken.
It’s been achy all week, and the tears have been so close to the surface.
I hurt for the survivors of the night club shooting in Orlando, FL.
I weep with the families of those whose loved ones were murdered.
I am desperately beside myself with the grief of knowing that so many of those who are affected by this tragedy are convinced that God hates them. Because that is the only message they have heard from Christians.
Not all Christians think that way. Not all Christians (even those who are not affirming) believe that way. But all too often, we let the voice of the extremist shout “God hates fags!” without a rebuttal.
So here’s my rebuttal. God loves human beings.
The Gospel is that God put on human flesh to dwell with humans in our beauty and brokenness, to walk with us. Jesus spent his time looking into the eyes of sinners. Touching them. Healing them.
Here is a trustworthy saying, Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. -The Apostle Paul
Whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone. -Jesus the Messiah
It is time for Christians to stand up. Speak out. Love.
I am the worst sinner, I have no stones to throw. All I have to offer is the grace, mercy, kindness and love of God that have turned my life around.
God loves every person involved in this tragedy. From the straight cis to the gender fluid, and everyone in between, God’s love does not hinge on our sexuality.
It didn’t for Rahab.
It didn’t for the Samaritan woman.
It didn’t for the one who washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.
God does not require that we cleanse ourselves, or make ourselves Holy or perfect. God’s invitation is clear, “Come to me those who are weary with heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” If you are tired. If you are heavy with grief and the weight of the world, come.
Come sit in God’s presence and pour out your heart.
Come with your anger. Your pain.
Come with your questions. Your doubt.
God is waiting.
God wants to heal.
For Orlando, for those who died, I will not be silent.