The incomprehensible terror of those few hours in Orlando did not stop when the gunman died. The shattered lives and heartbreak continues; indeed, it will never end.
In the ensuing hours, countless words have been written, statements made and acts undertaken. Some of have been helpful, too many hurtful and most have already been forgotten.
So what’s next?
We need to continue to respond with an outpouring of compassion and prayer. But there is more. We must address hatred and prejudice wherever and whenever it exists. But there is more. We should examine our own hearts to see what we know we can do – and then be willing to do it. But there is still more.
We must accept that evil exists in the world and that we have no choice but to confront it. But there is more. We must grapple with how America has become a violent nation that has chosen not to do what we can do about assault weapons that are responsible for so many tragic deaths. But there is more. We must engage those whose lives are so broken they are incapable of dealing with life except through extreme acts of violence. But there is still more.
We must continue praying that God’s Will becomes the reality on earth it already is in heaven. But there is more. We must open our hearts, minds and will to God in order to have God teach us what we need to learn. But there is more. We must be willing to risk living in new ways that show how our relationship with God actually changes the way we live.
Come, Holy Spirit, come!