49 of our people killed, at least as many again wounded, and we began to learn their names. We saw ourselves in them. There was another man killed, but he was one of them, who did this to us. That's what we thought.
And then, through our tears, we learned the most painful truth. There is no them and us. We are humanity, the body of Christ, and we are one in our hurt. We look for someone to hate in response, and see only our own faces, and the face of Christ, staring back.
We are survivors. We have survived our own hurts, and our own hate. We are witnesses to the best and worst of humanity within ourselves every single day, and we cannot ignore that this week of all weeks. We are also the inheritors of the wounds of Christ, put to death in innocence.
We will not forget the pain of Pulse. We will speak the names of the victims through our anguish. We remember that trans people of colour worldwide are the most likely of all our family in Christ to be targeted for violence, and we are angry. We remember the victims of the attack on the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans, just a single generation ago, and we weep tears of hurt and fury for them. The anguish, anger, hurt, and fury are the pain of the body of Christ as it is wounded by each act of human violence.
But we are called to something else, nestled in the heart of the anguish. We are called to forgive. The Man of Sorrows who is crucified again and again in the needless violence of humanity looks on us with forgiveness and calls us to do the same. We are held in time, at the foot of the cross, and a voice cries out, "Abba, forgive them. They do not know what they do."
May God forgive us, as we forgive those who wound us.