June 12, 2016 by Tammy Shay
Responding to Hate with Love After the Pulse Orlando Shooting
How do I begin…
My heart is heavy. My thoughts are racing. This may not be eloquent or perfected, and that’s okay.
I want to fly back home to Orlando, find all my gay friends, wrap my arms around them and share with them the hope and love they can find in Jesus after this awful attack. I know how deeply their hearts must be hurting. I know the deep love they have for each other and comradery within the community. Although we may disagree on certain things, one thing stands, I love them, cry for them, pray for them, and have the highest hopes for them in Christ.
I started to get notifications on my phone that said that my friends were marking themselves as “safe” from the shooting in Orlando. I had no idea what was happening. My mind went straight to the tragic shooting and death of the young, talented, and beautiful, Christina Grimmie. As I began to read what had happened, I felt my body lose its weight. Nothing could have prepared me for that moment. Nothing. I looked over at my husband and said, “I could have been there if I had not given my life to Jesus.”. Pulse was one of my homes away from home. The drag queens, club kids, people, employees were some of my friends.
Today, as many of you know my testimony and the freedom that I found in Jesus, I no longer define myself as a lesbian or bisexual. I am a straight, happy, married woman, and I am proud of my “coming out” from my past into who I am today. I discovered hope in Jesus and a radical love that cannot be compared.
Breathing hard and with tears in my eyes, I began to write some of my gay friends that I knew were very involved at Pulse. I started to see the frantic posts on their feeds, “Has anyone seen…? Anyone know where …. is? Everyone RUN!” With my inadequacy to fully express my heart, I wrote some of the hardest messages I have had to write knowing that their hearts could be very hard or very receptive.
As someone prayed in church for the gay community this morning, I was overcome with emotion and the reality of life being as a vapor. As much as I am hurting for them, Jesus is hurting in a far greater capacity than we ever could. The act of hatred carried out is one of evil and carelessness for life. No one, even in our disagreements, deserves that.
To those who call themselves Christ followers:
Let’s reach out to the gay community during this time to show the love of Christ. In this time of heartache, we don’t need to back down from our beliefs to show love, because I believe love will bring them to the revelation of Jesus. Let’s be the hands and feet of Christ. Let’s hug them. Pray with them. Pray for them. The reality is Jesus loves them. We should love them too.
Although we may not agree with their sexual preferences, we can still be love. I am so thankful for the ones who reached out to me even when they didn’t agree with my lifestyle. They showed me Christ despite my sexual orientation at the time, and it changed my heart. I have never been the same. It’s been a decade since I gave my life to Jesus. It’s been a journey. One that has been hard, but also one that has been the most rewarding. I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Latest posts by Tammy Shay (see all)
- Charlotte Riots: It’s Something Much Deeper - September 22, 2016
- Responding to Hate with Love After the Pulse Orlando Shooting - June 12, 2016
- Being an Honest Worship Leader in a Brutally “Honest” Society - May 18, 2016