While reading, meditating, praying, and trying to wrap my mind around the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history that occurred in Orlando, Florida, I stumbled across Stephen Grellet, a French-born Quaker who died in 1855. He would still be unknown to the world, except for a few immortal lines that will likely be remembered forever: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
As we grapple with the loss of 49 precious lives and the injury of 53 others and the lasting effects that it will have on so many across the world, I am reminded that an expression of kindness in the midst of this horrific crime is much needed. The healing process begins for the families and friends effected by this hate-crime when we show our expression of kindness. The Orlando Mayor expressed his spiritual thoughts best when he said “Tonight our community witnessed a horrific crime that will have a lasting effect on our community. We will not be defined by a hateful shooter. We will be defined by how we love each other.”
Love is patient, love is kind and our expressions of kindness will resonate through the power of love. What kindness can we do during these critical times? We can show kindness by praying for power of divine strength for the families and friends while they grieve. Grief is physically and emotionally draining. So we can pray for divine protection from being consumed by the grief and strengthen them when they are down. As you meditate and pray today for the healing process to begin, embrace kindness and kindness will embrace those around you with power.
By Chaplain Ghosten