This last month, though, has been such a painful month. The shooting massacre in Orlando, the ISIS bombing in Baghdad with so little care expressed, and the African American men killed by police, so much pain, I find myself struggling again. Struggling with words. Struggling with the feeling that I need to say something. Struggling with the questions, "What can I say? What can I do?" I have done my best to profess my sympathies and concern in a personal way to those closest to me in these communities, but more and more I feel like I need to say something more public. In an attempt to be helpful, to at least choose not to be silent, I am offering these words to members of the African American community, the LGBT community and to the victims of ISIS in Baghdad.
I see you. I hear you. My heart aches for you. When I say I'm praying, it isn't just lip service. I mean that I have and will continue to tearfully kneel in intercession before my God asking him for healing and peace for your communities, asking him for justice and change in our country and our world, for understanding and direction in my life and in my community.
When you express your anger and disillusionment, your fear and lack of hope, your graciousness and love even in the presence of hate, I take it in, all of it. I consider every word and lay out my heart to be broken, my mind to be changed and my life to be given in service.
I would offer my shoulder, let me cry with you. I would offer my presence, let me stand with you. Let me hold your hand as you walk through the pain, and let me carry some of the burden. Let me pray with you and for you. I know my God loves each and every one of you, and I know he hears from heaven and intervenes.
He sends people, people like you, people like me, ultimately people like him, created in his image. He sends us to help each other, to learn from each other. Tell me your story and let me learn from you. I give my word, I will listen and hear you, and my silence will then have purpose as I absorb what you share and use it to do more than be silent.