Reflections from Orlando

I wasn’t going to do another post this week but I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything that has happened in Orlando.  It’s very surreal reading about both the nightclub tragedy and the drowning at Disney knowing that both took place right down the road. I’ll touch a little on both…but first I have one request. For all of my prayer warriors out there, there are two sweet girls who were in a car accident back in our Ohio hometown this week.  I know they could use an extra few prayers from us.  Please keep them in your thoughts!!

The grief and pain that the shooting victims and their families have gone through is something we can’t begin to comprehend.  I keep wishing I could be of more help.  To go visit the injured, make them a meal, or just do something, ANYTHING to help ease their pain.   But I’m an outsider and so I will just keep on praying. Praying not just for the families who are dealing with this horrific incident but also the survivors who are dealing with both the physical trauma and processing survivors guilt and also the first responders and medical teams who worked tirelessly that tragic night.  As we ask ourselves how such a thing can happen, I reflect on a quote I recently heard (and loved), “When you are going through something and wonder where God is, remember the teacher is always quiet during the test.” I’m so proud to see so many Floridians coming together through this test to donate blood, hold vigils, and communicate throughout the community that we will stand together and fulfill Jesus’ command to “Love one another as I have loved you.” 

Regarding the drowning that just occurred at Disney, there are a lot of layers to this.  First and foremost, I cannot even begin to comprehend the levels of shock and betrayal the parents of the young child must be feeling.  To have your son torn away in the idyllic happiest place on earth is pretty much incomprehensible to me.  One benefit of having kids is that I try REALLY hard to stay in the no judgement zone regarding anything any other parent does at any time period.  Each parent knows their children best so I try to keep my nose in my own business!!  So to stick with the facts.  A few years back we took our oldest son and middle son to a restaurant on the same Seven Seas Lagoon where the gator attack occurred.  I remember finding it distinctly odd that they had “No Swimming” signs posted.  I mean vacation = lake = swimming right?? But hey not my lake, so I told the boys to keep out.  The signs were very well posted and clear but I never once thought it was due to gators or my vigilance would have been on high alert.  Fast forward to present day.  Things I have learned by living in Florida…1.  If there is any body of water, assume there is an alligator in it.  2.  Most alligators are very skittish and will run/swim away any time you are near.  So now let’s put these all of these lessons together.  It is VERY easy to see how without having all of this info, this tragic accident happened.  There might be question of what Disney does to control gators but keep in mind that Disney property is EXTREMELY vast and gators do not know how to read nor do they care about maps.  They were here first.  I’d have to imagine Disney will be doing something about their signage to include gator warnings in the future but the damage is done.   This family will be in my prayers as well.  And as a side note, kudos to Disney for earlier this week pledging $1 million to the fund for the victims of the Orlando shooting.

Atthe end of the day, prayer is what unites us.  There were beautiful outpourings of tributes from all around the world this week….from Brussels, Paris, Pakistan, Kenya, China, Mexico and many others.  There is a solidarity in uniting in prayer that while their may be evil in the world, we will rise together.  To quote Carolyn Allgood, a friend visiting the shooting victims, “We have sunny days….and our hearts are broken now…but, believe it or not, Orlando will rise again.”


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