The senseless attack on innocent people this past weekend has captured the minds, hearts, and discussions of the American people. This isn’t the first time we have seen an attack on our soil and, sadly, this will probably not be the last. A coward has once again decided to force parents, siblings, and friends to bury loved ones. This terrible truth is driving many to political posturing. Social Media has become the home of vitriolic and hateful rhetoric where everyone seems to have a take on best practices going forward.

Many are asking questions about guns, religion, and sexuality. Alliances are being formed and hate is being dispersed.  We cannot take the time to mourn the loss of fellow citizens because we are too busy crafting our next post and our latest idea.

It is not lost on me that as I say this, I am writing a blog post about the current events facing our nation. It is also not lost on me that I am very active on Social Media. My musings today are not an assessment on the use of online vehicles. Instead, my desire today is to bring some clarity to the situation we find ourselves in; a situation that is spiraling out of control; a situation that lacks HOPE.

While we are debating guns and religion, parents are walking into their child’s room without their child. While we are seeking the upper-hand with our “friends” on social media, parents are reading old texts and listening to old voicemails just so they can hear their child’s voice one more time. While we are debating the current election and a particular candidate’s position, parents are scheduling meetings with funeral homes to bury their child.

These are very difficult truths, but ones we should not neglect. I love political discourse. I love discussing the news of the day and having a good debate. I appreciate dialoguing with people that disagree with me, but we must not do this in the place of mourning with our fellow citizens. We must not lose sight of lives lost.

There are certainly some discussions that need to be had. You can look back at past posts from me to read my views on that, but can we not all agree to stand with these families today? Can we not all agree that these lives deserve our respect and care?

I entitled today’s post as “HOPE.” I am truly grateful that our founders chose this name back in 1997. They understood our desperate need for hope in times of crisis. This isn’t just a truth for our patients, but it is a daily truth we need as well.

Everyone wants to have hope. Everyone is seeking some type of reassurance that all is well. I am afraid, though, that this sense of assurance is starting to fail. It’s failing because we refuse to take the time necessary to share the good news of a better tomorrow in light of a terrible today.

As these attacks become commonplace in society, we tend to find ourselves jaded and disinterested in the actual lives being lost. We struggle to connect with the realities around us and, instead, get lost in the non-reality that is social media.

There will be a time and place for policy discussion. We will, I’m sure, look at a number of different views as we seek to prevent these horrible attacks in the future. Today, though, let’s focus on the victims in Orlando and their families – families that may struggle to find hope in tomorrow.

Pray for them, love them, and welcome them as they grieve. America will bounce back from this, but that truth doesn’t change the reality for the parents today that are making funeral arrangements. They need hope and we need to help them find it as we strive for a brighter tomorrow for ourselves and our country.

posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director of Hope Resource Center