Today’s news and opinion features a vast mountain of material in response to the brutal massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. And, in true Internet fashion, reactions have run the gamut: grief, anger, shock, pain, confusion, politics, finger pointing, hate, blame – we do so love to blame.
Seldom one to hold back when it comes to speaking my mind, I made the decision to stay on the sidelines the first full day, simply observing, taking in the torrent of information, misinformation, conjecture, invective, research, analysis, and – strikingly – genuine love.
We could talk all day about the danger and the foolishness of rushing to conclusions based on prejudice, and the serious problem this country has with politicizing tragedy, but as a bystander – someone simply listening in – I have noticed a groundswell response that is overwhelming much of the anger and the posturing, and that groundswell is love.
Love and compassion for the victims and their families; love for the city of Orlando; and – strikingly – love for one another as we are all struggle with the implications of such darkness and hatred. It’s as if we have an instinct for the fact that light always defeats darkness, and we know that we must choose to be people of light.
THE POWER OF LOVE: Fact is, love is the only resource we have in our toolbox that has a prayer of moving us forward from this point, and toward any kind of a future other than the tragic history of pointless repetition that is the cycle of violence, retaliation, and more violence as a solution to anything.
Love is the only resource we have in our toolbox that has a prayer of moving us forward from this point, and toward any kind of a future other than the tragic history of pointless repetition that is the cycle of violence, retaliation, and more violence as a solution to anything.
Love not only stands strong as a practical response – both balm and solution – it is also the only preemptive move that has consistently demonstrated any long term success in history!
So I find myself encouraged by what I am witnessing. I am deeply moved by the ascendency of hashtags such as #lovewins and #PrayersForOrlando. I am – dare I say – more hopeful for the future of this country today than I was before this tragic weekend.
POTENCY: You see I honestly believe that at the core of each American, and at the core of every human spirit, resides love – love loaded with potency, with possibility, and with potential.
But there is also a war waging inside each one of us, a struggle pitting that love against the cynicism that opposes the essential intention of our creation as beings made in the image of God.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:7-8
Don’t be discouraged, and don’t be intimidated by fear. Love is the antidote to fear. And love wins. Always, love wins.
– In love, and because of love – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.