Vigil for Colorado shooting
Awakening to the news of the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs was painful and scary. Like probably many here, yesterday I checked to be sure that my young friend, Sarah, who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs had not been at Club Q that evening. Thankfully, she was not.
Yet, after the relief of that moment, I was overwhelmed by the tragedy. People had gone to the club to talk and laugh, to drink and dance. They went to have fun and enjoy life. And they came face-to-face with tragedy and death.
Part of the horror of this shooting is that it is no longer as shocking as it should be. This is not the first time, and these shootings have become a pattern, almost expected and frighteningly normative in our country. People in this room continue to stand and speak and advocate against gun violence and verbal violence directed toward people here and many groups marginalized in our country and all over the world.
We all ask, ‘How long?’ How long will we need to be vigilant for ourselves and our friends? How long will we need to call out those who spew hatred and those who act on it? How long will we need to be brave?
As a religious person, people always ask me where God is in this tragedy. God is in all of it, but most especially in your heartbreak, in the depth of your grief and the poignancy of your yearnings for things to be different. God is also in your steps forward when courage propels you beyond the limitations of fear.
God is with you every day, when you stand bravely, where you step, and when you dance.
LGBTQ+ peoples and we who are allies cannot hide away in fear. We cannot refuse to see what is happening. We should never stand still and forget how to dance. We will not stop meeting or greeting each other.
For now we mourn, and we honor those who fell—Daniel, Kelly, Derrick, Ashley and Raymond, and those who witnessed their fall. lives lost, yes. And we need to mourn for the innocence lost in Club Q as well—losses that will permeate our culture and our society through the next generation.
In our grief, we will continue to stand forth and proclaim that the world can be a place where all of creation is beloved, and no one is left out or taken out because of who they are and whom they love.
How long, we ask, how long will we need to do this? As long as it takes.
We who are gathered here tonight form the nucleus of strength and the voices from which the message of acceptance, inclusion and love will be carried into our communities.
May we have the wisdom to pursue this calling and the courage to perform it for as long as it takes.