I spent Sunday afternoon and evening with at least one eye and ear focused on the news of the Orlando shootings. I’ll let the “experts” rant on about the conversations we should be having about security, religious intolerance, radicalization of angry men, easy access to weapons, 2nd amendment rights, the so called “truth” about Islam, the failures of law enforcement, the failures of this presidency and on and on and on that talking heads and people who make a healthy living by inciting accusatory rhetoric have already begun to do.
On Sunday, I flashbacked to the summer of 1972. I was traveling through Europe, caught the wrong ferry out of Glasgow and instead of arriving in Dublin, I was deposited into that so called religious war zone known as Belfast, Northern Ireland. I eventually made my way to the smaller rail station and caught a train to the B&B in Dublin by that evening – only to learn from local TV that the area around that station had been bombed less than an hour after I left.
I was lucky. Wrong place, but right time. I lived. The victims of the mass shooting in Orlando were not: wrong place and wrong time!
I cannot by myself change the political and cultural chaos in which we live. I can (and do) preach of Jesus and His way, and that this works for me and for all who choose life in him. There is so much I cannot know, but I DO know this: in the dangerous world in which we now live, where violence can strike any woman, man or child, I need to live my life as a Child of God and I need to teach those around me to do the same. Will this “protect” me? Of course it won’t! But I live my life as if ready for the Lord to take me home and stand before Him to give an account of that time here. I don’t know when that time will end. I don’t know if I will end my pilgrimage by an act of violence. I may not be lucky again. Am I ready for my ultimate encounter with Christ? Are you?