I was sitting at breakfast on Sunday morning, and I heard the news on a television playing at the restaurant that a mass shooting had happened in Orlando. I turned and watched as my heart ached for the terror, anger, and sadness that were being experienced by those murdered and injured. I prayed for the families, others watching, and our society that was losing its ability to create a safe place.
I remembered thinking, “I wish I didn’t hear so well. Now that I have hearing aids, I don’t miss hearing anything…even the terrible.” (I caught the fallacy of the thought process right away.)
Before, I wouldn’t have caught what was going on, because I couldn’t hear, especially in restaurants or crowds. I was always behind on what was going on around me, and I was OK with that because that was the way it was.
Now I can hear. Not only can I hear, I understand. I understand the fallacy of NOT wanting to hear the terrible. It is no way to live. One should have courage enough to see and hear the good, and want to see and hear the terrible. That is the reality of living. When we enter into that reality we become apart.
It is like the mother I know who had to take her daughter into the hospital in the middle of the night, because she had a 105 temp and stomach pain. You know that kind of challenge is tough. You’re tired, but you push through, because you love your daughter. You have work in the morning, but that is really an afterthought, because you love your daughter. You wish you could take on her pain and discomfort away, and even wish it on yourself, because you love your daughter. Love is the greatest action, but one must be willing to hear and see the reality that is in front of them. It would be unthinkable for a mother to ignore this, or say your pain is not my problem.
And so one can start with love. One can start with focusing on the first-responders, and those who overwhelmingly showed up to give blood. One can be amazed at the donated food and water that showed up in support of responders efforts.
What we can do directly? I don’t know the answer, but I am looking. Until then, I can start with love and my prayers for those who are suffering, and for those who are helping.
One needs to be brave enough to hear the terrible. When we hear and recognize the terrible, then we can appreciate and hear the good that responds.