Dear Friends –

Briefly during worship last Sunday afternoon we talked about and prayed for the violent tragedy that took place earlier in the day in Orlando.  I have wanted to comment more on it this week, but words have not come easily to me. (I am a slow processor).   I offer my thoughts below that came to me this morning for your continued prayerful reflection.

I also want to add my deep gratitude for all of you who comprise “First Presbyterian Church Seattle worshipping at Exeter House, 1pm on Sunday.”  Thank you for being a part of this body of believers.  I am convinced that being a community like this keeps us grounded in Christ, and goes a long way to helping us bring sanity and love to bear upon the world, amid the craziness and hatred that swirls around us, both near and far. By God’s grace, let’s continue to…

Be the church!

Pastor Heidi

Reflection on Orlando

Again.

Another massacre. 
A semi-automatic weapon.
Horrific violence.
Terrorism.
A Muslim extremist.
Mental illness.
Hatred.
Targeted minorities  - Latinos and LGBTQ - cut down in the prime of life.
More innocent, peace-loving Muslims fearful of retaliation.

Anderson Cooper reads 49 names. He is weeping. I am weeping.
They.are.people. Real people.
Each bearing the Creator’s image.
Each soul loved by God.
Each one cherished by others. 
Each one loving, creative, gifted.  Gone.

I am struggling – to comprehend, to find the words to respond, to hope, to pray.
One critic is adamant:  Enough with more public ‘moments of silence’!
But I am stuck. I am silenced.

Slowly lament finds its way into my words:
How long O Lord? So much brokenness!
Have you forsaken us? Evil is everywhere!
Why do you hide your face? Is there any comfort?

Slowly (on the third day) I begin to pray…
Please, O God, we need you….
Please, O God, transform the hatred all around us and in our hearts into your love…
Please, O God, use me, use us, to bring your healing and hope to the world…
Please.
O
God.
Not.
Again.