Again, we stare at the screen in disbelief. Hooked up to our individual devices, still we are one in the grief. At our bagel bar this morning, my man and I don’t say much, as the CNN live stream in the corner continually bleeds over all of us this latest tragedy. A bearded man with a weary face enters with a laptop under his arm, and just says one word to the weathered waitress: “Orlando!” She shakes her head and brings him coffee.
So life goes on. For awhile, we will post #weareorlando, and we will agonize with strangers, before we again polarize into our factions of idealism. Gun control. Muslim control. Build a wall. Build bridges. Trump. Hillary. Feel the Bern. It’s understandable; we are hurting and powerless against this evil we grasp to define so that we can work to eliminate it.
What else can we do?
We pray. We post. We donate to good causes.
And for awhile, we invert our generation’s motto from “Don’t judge me” to “Where is justice?” We know the drill; we’ve been through it too many times already. And we know this won’t be the last or the worst.
I feel an odd detachment this time. Like a spectator. Like we are all in a theater, acting our parts, but outside the building’s little enclosed world, I hear the slowly rising roar of a tsunami wave approaching. Clips of scattered post-apocalypse movies play in the periphery of my mind, while my eyes try to focus and engage in the play I’m part of.
But I can’t focus. I hear that coming wave and I know it carries the elimination of evil we all cry out for. As in the days of Noah… We have no idea what we are asking.
We demand justice, but reject the Judge.
We hashtag compassion, but have outlawed its Source.
We are lost, but long to be found.
“For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” (Romans 8:22)
They say, that while while being swept into oblivion by anesthesia before painful surgery, even grown men call out for their mama. Under the rubble of our well-intentioned efforts, our souls weep for our Creator.
We are so thirsty, and no Starbucks concoction or alkaline water from the theater vendors can quench it.
But He is here, pouring out His Spirit on anyone, whosoever directs their thirst at Him. Jesus. The Living Water. Before the wave of destruction, the rain from heaven gushes life into any dry soul who wants Him.
I rip my eyes from the theater and leave the building. Outside are the vagabond masses, pilgrims and beggars, saints and sinners, their faces turned upwards, drinking the rain. Their backs to the theater, their chests toward the darkness, they sing intercession that slows the wave and protects the people inside.
“Dreams and visions of the Son
As we stand in Your presence
Revelations of Your love
As I look to the heavens”
After the wave, the River of Life, pure and healing.
The shadows of violence and fear now washed away. The souls saturated in love. One people of peace. Everything new, fresh, as the first day in Eden. Better. Complete.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)
The invitation is for now. We have but a little time.