No Buts for Orlando 

Pain is unique. 
When we try and describe pain we say things like, 
It cut deep. 
It burned. 
It was sharp and stabbing. 
It took my breathe away. 
But no matter how hard we try and explain pain we never succeed. 
There’s not a good way to measure pain. 
There’s no method of calculating it’s intensity.  
A doctor can say on a scale of 1-10 how bad does it hurt? But we can’t really answer that question objectively. 
Pain is subjective. 
Pain is relative. 
Pain is experienced in a multitude of ways. 
Today I experienced pain. 
I woke up to a news update saying “around 20” people were killed last night in Orlando. I shook my head in a sort of unsurprised disgust. After a morning of community worship I saw another notification. This one saying over a 100 people had been shot and 50 of them were dead. 
The worst mass shooting in US history. 
Pain for the lost lives. 
Pain for the family and friends that will never again hold their loved one. 
Pain for the dreams that will never be fulfilled. 
Pain for the survivors who will battle with the horror they witnessed for years to come. 
Pain for the mothers and fathers that will bury their children. 
My pain is the pain of empathy. 
The pain of many in the Orlando and LGBT communities is much greater. 
The pain of loss. 
Thinking of their pain is suffocating. 
For most of us the pain will subside and even vanish in a manner of weeks. 
But for some, the pain will never end. 
For some, the life they had is gone forever. 
I imagine you are expecting the “but” 
The pain is devastating but it will all be okay eventually. 
The pain is terrible but bad things do happen and we have to get over it. 
The pain is unbearable but God still loves you. 
I’m sorry, but there is no but. 
Today there is pain, no buts. 
Pain must be experienced if we desire to have any sort of resolution later. 
It’s possible, and very likely that you are experiencing pain from something other than the tragedy that took place in Orlando last night. 
A loss. 
A past mistake. 
A death. 
Some days I feel pain from those. 
I’ve had losses I never saw coming. 
I’ve made all types of mistakes, I’ve chosen to commit sins, I’ve done things that have hurt people around me. 
I’ve watched friends and family die. 
Those pains are real. 
Sometimes they must be felt. 
Today is a good day to feel those pains. 
Today is a good day to cry with Orlando. 
Today we feel pain so that tomorrow we will be stronger. 
Maybe tomorrow is a week 
Maybe tomorrow is a year. 
Maybe tomorrow will never be fully realized. 
But to feel anything other than what is sincere is a lie. 
To feel that which isn’t true, is to not feel at all. 
And are you even alive if you don’t feel?  
Don’t fear your pain, Embrace it. As the pain of Orlando moves about the world don’t fear it’s grip, for its grip is sincere. 
We love you Orlando. 


2 thoughts on “No Buts for Orlando 

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