When I heard about Orlando, it was dark outside.
Once again, I woke up to the news of a deadly mass shooting.
As the sunlight filled my windows, I tried to carry on like it was a normal day. That’s what you do when you hear news like this. You carry on with a prayer in your heart.
But it’s a displaced sense of normal. Because somewhere, this time in a place I once called home, hundreds of families are suffering.
I’ve offered tearful prayers for the victims and their families today. I’ve held my sweet daughter a little closer.
Tonight, just as the sunlight started to cast shadows, we took a walk outside our home. She laughed as we picked a dandelion and blew its white, feathery seeds into the wind.
She will be one this month.
She knows nothing of the sorrow that is being felt around the world today.
As I watched her eyes light up with excitement, I thought of my Savior.
“Becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”
We could all be a bit more like the sweet child I carried in my arms tonight.
Kind. Humble. Full of love.
We need more of that in this world.
Because on days like today, I am sadly reminded of all the hate that threatens to ruin all the things we hold dear.
Because the tragedy that happened in Orlando didn’t just target our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community.
It’s an attack on anyone who has ever felt different. Anyone who has ever felt like they don’t belong. It’s an attack on anyone who feels that their differences make them a target.
Today, hate may have dominated a battle, but love MUST win the war. Love, kindness, compassion. I am fully convinced that it’s these things – things my daughter teaches me every day – they will be the ones to save us.
To my LGBT brothers and sisters in Orlando, Rexburg, England and everywhere in between, I stand with you. I love you. I have wept with you today.
To those who feel alone, defeated or afraid, I uphold you.
Though hate has been the discussion of the day, let us make the focus of our lives compassion. Concern for our neighbors. Simply, love.
The shadows of twilight are my favorite time of day. But tonight, they remind me that there are many who still hide, waiting for love and kindness to brighten their day.
I hope to always be a light.
For now, Orlando, you are in my heart.