turning on the light.

I’ve always had a rule about my blog, and it’s that I’d keep it quiet when something happens in the world that sends the Internet into a commentary overload…no matter how I felt on the incident. I’ve never felt like my voice needed to be added to the countless others.

Something’s different this time.

I still don’t feel like my voice needs to be added to the countless voices speaking on the events in Orlando…but, I don’t know.

Maybe it’s in light of some of the responses I’ve seen to Orlando spewed across social media. Maybe it’s in light of the questions I’ve had to answer to precious Thai children who are trying to wrap their heads around evil as much as I am. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the past three years of my life seeing my worldview change and feeling more solidified in my faith and in the Jesus I follow, yet realizing that it’s led to more questions and conflicting views than true solid answers.

Whatever the reason, I’m breaking my own rules today and adding my voice to the Internet.

On Sunday, while a man was opening fire on innocent people in Orlando, I was sitting in a coffee shop in Bangkok, writing and blissfully unaware of the evil on the other side of the globe.

24 hours later, I was sitting in front of a group of teenagers who were asking me why people hate people. Why people can take guns into concerts and nightclubs and churches and hospitals and schools…places where you’re not supposed to worry about your safety. I was choking down emotions to try to offer some kind of answer to kids who shouldn’t have to ask these kinds of questions yet.

There’s a lot of darkness in the world, and I don’t deny it. I feel it deeply, maybe even more deeply than before because it dawns on me more every day that one day, it could be me caught in a crossfire of hatred and fear. Or worse, it could be someone I love.

The world may be dark, but every day we each have a choice to look at that darkness and turn on a light. We have the choice every day to live from a place of love or a place of fear. And hatred, hatred like we’ve seen recently, is an ugly byproduct of living from places of fear.

We can all turn on the light. We can all see fear and stress and pain and choose to sit down next to it with a simple “Hey, I’m here. This is evil. This hurts. I don’t know what to do or say, but I’m here and I’m with you and I support you.”

Hiding in the darkness, not saying something that matters because we’re scared of what happens when it’s finally out there – that does nothing but breed more fear. It perpetuates the darkness that’s already weighing heavy on the world.

So, this is me attempting to turn on a light, and hoping you’re doing the same.

To my brothers and sisters in the LGBT community:

I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. My words may fall short and my attempts to show support may seem feeble. But I love you. I’m standing in solidarity with you today and every day. Because human is human. Love is love. And I love you. And regardless of what others may say, I believe the God I follow loves you. Your life matters. Your love matters. Your stories matter. You matter.

I don’t know how to answer the questions some of my students ask or the questions I’m asking myself, but I do know one thing:

Faith, hope and love endure. And the greatest of these is love.

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