I haven’t checked on my friend Kevin Garcia in at least two weeks. His prediction was right. We’ve moved on. We had never done anything to reach the gay community before the Pulse shooting, but suddenly we seemed to care. We wept and wailed and mourned on social media. And now? We’re done. It’s no longer in the news cycle. Last week was Dallas and in a few days, the vigils will be over and we’ll be writing about the next tragedy that sweeps our broken-as-f*ck nation.
I don’t think there’s anything anyone can truly say to make any of this better. I certainly have no power to stop senseless killings or to change hardened hearts.
Here’s the truth: I am angry with you. I am discouraged, too. Like many of you, I want to bury my head in the sand or stick my fingers in my ears and close my eyes and just scream. I want all of this to go away. I don’t want it to be true.
But friends, it is true. And it isn’t going away.
Growing up in the Evangelical tradition, I was scared to death of denying Jesus. Countless times, I heard sermons preached on the end of the world. I grew up in the days of the Left Behind series, which was like our own personal Christian horror story. I was talking about the series with a friend recently, who said, “I feel like that series would make the perfect Christian drinking game.”
I was six when a book was published with 88 reasons Jesus was coming back in 1988. It didn’t happen, but I still heard the End of Time sermons around it. For at least the first twenty years of my life, I fully expected the trumpet to sound at any time and Jesus to come bursting through the clouds on a white horse, somewhere above Atlanta. That was about as far east as I could fathom. I imagined the end of the world looked something like a combination of the Holocaust and The Walking Dead. I had heard “Midnight Cry” enough times to know “the dead in Christ” would rise, but what about all the others, the ones who weren’t in Christ? Would they be roaming the streets too?