There’s a story in John 11 about how one of Jesus’ closest friends died. Jesus leaves where he’s at to go visit that family in their town even though there were people in that town who wanted to kill him, and the shortest verse of the Bible says that when he arrived and saw his friend’s sisters and friends mourning, “Jesus wept.” I read that with some friends the other day and realized that God is a God who not only hurts with those who are hurting, but He is a God who goes to the hurting so that He can love and comfort them.
Immediately, I thought of Orlando and all of the people who are hurting around the world because of the friends and family they lost early Sunday morning. Because of the friends and family who those people represent. God is a God who loves and goes to the hurting so that He can hurt with them. “Go give free hugs in Oak Lawn,” I felt Him whisper. “I want to love My kids there through you.”
I’ve been learning how to hear from God and actually do what He whispers, so I decided that I had to go. My friend Dan joined me and we gave out sweaty hugs in the 100-degree temps. There was a memorial set up to honor the victims of Orlando and we were able to meet, hug, talk with, and pray with many people. I am honored to represent a God who goes to, hurts with, and loves those who are hurting.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35)
Regardless of your stance on gays, Muslims, Christians, terrorists, gun control, etc., what happened in Orlando was an act of hate and therefore, not God. God is love and He tells us to love. I don’t have all of the answers but I know that my role in this life is to display God’s love for all people, because He loved me first.