Siblings in Christ,
I had a different message I was going to share with you this month. The story was sweet and beautiful and would have made all of us feel really good.
But something happened.
And because of June 12, 2016, I will have to share that story another day. As I was driving after worship Sunday morning I heard breaking news from Florida about another mass shooting. It pains me to use the word “another” in front of “mass shooting.” The news poured out…not just a mass shooting, but a shooting in a gay bar in Orlando in the month of June. Pride month for many states. A shooting that took the lives of fifty children of God. A shooting that injured at least fifty others, some of whom were fighting for their lives in hospital beds at the time I heard the news. I should say physically injured, for the emotionally injured are too great to count.
By the time I arrived back in Winona, I was reeling. I drove straight to the LCC, hopped on our counter in the back and pulled our rainbow flags down from the top shelf. We hang our flags for Coming Out Week and PRIDE Week, but yesterday they needed to be hanged in an act of defiant prayer. Which is exactly the phrase I used when I saw our student president next door at the coffee shop. I barely got the words out of my mouth before they asked, “Can I hang them with you?”
I’m surprised we needed ladders to reach the hooks; I think we could have leaped to them with all the energy beating in our hearts and racing through our veins. In large black letters we declared, “We pray for peace” on our window beneath one of the brightly colored flags.
Now let me be clear, for there is a lot of talk going around social media about not ending with prayer…Prayer is not just saying some nice words and hoping there’s change. Prayer in and of itself is an act, and the act of reaching out, showing love, calling our legislators, calling a friend who is hurting- especially of the LGBTQ community, all of that and more—That. Is. Prayer. Our very lives can be an act of prayer.
That is what we teach, challenge, and live out at the LCC.
Whatever you happen to believe, our prayer is that you may feel and know the radical love of Christ reaching out to you, to every one of us, especially in the midst of such tragedy.
God’s peace to us, we pray…
The Lutheran Campus Center