But then I woke up this morning and my heart hurt even more. A headline. "50 dead in Orlando". Another shooting, same city. A gay nightclub. An Islamic shooter. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. For those dead, may God have mercy on their souls. May the peace of the Holy Spirit rain down over their families and friends. For Omar Saddiqui Mateen, may God have mercy on your soul as well. I am praying for you. My heart is broken for you.
I am a Christian, many of you know that. I don't hate the LGBT community. I don't hate the Muslim community. I love both with the same love Christ has shown me, a filthy sinner who does not deserve the grace I have received. I am more disheartened by those who claim to be Christian but show so much hate to these two groups of HUMAN BEINGS. No one should ever treat a person with such hate and demise. I don't care if you are black, white, yellow, gay, lesbian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, or whatever else there is out there, a person is a person no matter what religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
Now let me clarify myself. As a Chrisitan, I cannot support the ideals of the LGBT community. It's against my faith. I also cannot support Muslim beliefs because it is also against my faith. Meaning that I am not going to live those same lifestyles as a Christian.
But just because I do not support these groups does not mean that I hate them or am here to judge them. No. Not at all. I am not "better than" any of these people because of my beliefs and will never treat someone less of a person because of my faith. I just believe that there is a way free from these things with Christ that brings life, grace, and forgiveness. I will never force my faith on anyone but will always live out what I believe. I strive to look like love...to look like Jesus.
Today I smile and think back to the dinner an Iraqi family made me (let me tell you, it was AH-MA-ZING). Muslims and Christians sitting with one another talking, laughing and sharing a meal together. They taught me about customs they had in Iraq and we laughed about our crazy American slang. It was a night I will never forget. I think about the elementary student from Jordan that I worked with my first semester of college. Muslim and Christian working hand in hand to understand each other's cultures. Helping him read and write English as he taught me about life in Jordan. So excited to get to talk about his pet rabbit they had to leave behind in Jordan and how unlike the United States, Jordan has a king. I can't help but smile seeing him in the back of my mind try to figure out how Kentucky was not actually a country but a state. Or thinking back to the moment when I stood baffled at this nearly bilingual eight-year-old practice his English letters and showing me his Arabic letters too.
I also smile at the friends I have made in the LGBT community. My friend who made me laugh so hard on days I didn't want to. He brought laughter and light into the room. Gay and straight laughing and sharing life together. The many in the gay community that were right by my side to help me adjust to college and all the coursework. For them, I am forever grateful.
As a Christian, I love these people. I want to be their friends and neighbors. I want to show them what life with Christ is like. I want to be by their side when unimaginable tragedies such as this occur. I know that's what Christina Grimme would have wanted too.
Days like today are heartbreaking for both LGBT and Muslim communities. It's heartbreaking for the Grimme family. The only finger that can be pointed is directed toward the devil himself and sin. And I cannot wait for the day that Christ returns and saves us all from this sick world.
Orlando, I am praying and weeping with you.