Stunned by the news of a horrific shooting in Orlando, our thoughts immediately turn to those impacted by this terrible crisis. Many of us have friends and colleagues we have living in that community. An e-mail from a colleague who works in healthcare in the Orlando area sums up how we all are feeling: “the grief and pain we feel has no words.”
As the story unfolded I began to think about the care teams in the hospitals and healthcare facilities that are thrust into caring for a community in crisis. As we have learned from our experiences with incidents of violence—the repercussions from the event go well beyond what is known immediately. The Orlando community will be forever impacted by this tragedy.
As a healthcare system sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist church, I was very interested in the almost immediate response of the Forest Lake Adventist Church in Apopka, FL (just north of Orlando) to what has happened. Knowing that there may be some who were targeted and killed that do not have the resources or a church home for funeral services, they have made their church available for free funeral services for any of the victims of the shooting—and have included in their offer a willingness to video stream the service live for family and friends outside the Orlando area who may not be able to attend the services of their loved ones.
I was very moved by this gesture. It demonstrates a willingness to do whatever can be done to help ease the pain and begin healing in a difficult situation.
Our hearts are with those in Orlando. May we be mindful of ways in which each day offers us the opportunity to be thoughtful and responsive to the unexpected needs in our own community and in the world around us. We are praying for Orlando.