By Derek Maul
Within days of June’s massacre in Orlando, a vast mountain of opinion materialized on the Internet. Commentary featured grief, anger, shock, pain, confusion, politics, and blame – we do so love to blame.
I stayed on the sidelines at first, simply observing, taking in the torrent of information, misinformation, conjecture, invective, analysis, and – strikingly – genuine love.
We could talk all day about the foolishness of rushing to conclusions based on prejudice, and the problem we have with politicizing tragedy; but, as someone simply listening in, I noted a groundswell response that overwhelmed much of the anger and the posturing, and that groundswell is love.
Love is the only resource we have with 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 stands strong as both balm and solution, and also as the only preemptive move that consistently demonstrates long-term success.
So I find myself encouraged by what I am witnessing, moved by the ascendency of hashtags such as #lovewins and #PrayingForOrlando. I am – dare I say – more hopeful for the future today than I was before that tragic weekend.
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.