In tragedy love and acceptance can be born. Lesson learned.

I don't think there is anyone in the USA that has not heard about the terrible tragedy that occurred in Orlando this past week.  No doubt everyone's heart was touched and saddened.  The tragedy transcends beyond politics, beyond religions, beyond differences that divide us [or at least it should and did often!]
I was touched and am touched by the outpouring of love and service to the families and loved ones left behind from those who have similarities, from those that have differences, from the most unlikely places.  I have LOVED reading those stories. 

We've tried to instill in our sons that we love all, we accept all, we do not judge.  This tragedy has been a door to educate and show them even further, how we are called and meant to love.  As human beings, all connected, it is important, MANDATORY that we love.  We should love!
Children have real feelings, they have questions, they want to know why.  I don't hid much from my sons.  When they ask, I try to be as honest as I can on a level they understand.

Why would someone shoot all these people?  What does gay mean?  Why did he hate them?

The one thing I wanted to impress on them that the shooter, consumed with hate because of differences, felt it was his job to judge those people and take their lives. 
Beyond that that I moved to the victims.  Though the shooter played a terrible roll, the tragedy is no longer about him, he's gone now. 
Rather it was focusing on the victims.  On helping and loving the families and loved ones left behind. 
I explained [as I have before] what gay means.  It means that one adult loves another adult of the same sex.  And they shouldn't be judged, hated, killed, or looked down on because of it.
And I shared with them stories of those reaching out in thoughts, prayers, and love to help.
I told them that adults are free to love other adults and be supported.  And I will always love and support them no matter who they love.

This is my chance, my children's chance, every person's chance to cast aside judgement, cast aside prejudices if they have them, to open their arms, services if they have it, to open their hearts and love and accept people as fellow human beings. 

Living in the state where it happened, just an hour away, you can see and feel the mood, see how love has won out, even from those who don't agree.  You see people putting aside their political and religious differences to donate blood, food, places to stay, airline rides.
I'm a member of the Episcopal Church.  One Episcopal church in Orlando opened it's doors and offered funeral services for the those who lost their lives.  LOVE and ACCEPTANCE! 

This is what my sons are and will learn.  To love and accept others, and that they are loved and accepted.  Anything less is unthinkable.
Orlando Strong!
Pray for Orlando!

Faith, Hope, and Love.  But the greatest of these is LOVE!


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