The death of any human is not natural. God's creation has been punctured by an enemy who is not welcome - death. Our first reading of death in the Bible is meant to be shocking - brother rising up against brother. Death brought about by violent hands. Violence is no friend to our Creator God.
In the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando, how should Christians respond? The Gospel Coalition has written that our response to such darkness is Pray, Pause, Grieve, Love and Hope, while another writer encourages Christians not to be silent on this tragedy and qualify our compassion because we may not agree with the lifestyle of the victims. Some Christians decided that actions are louder than words and sent trained Chaplains to offer emotional and spiritual support to the victims.
At times like these fear that can so easily become the motive for our words rather than love and we need to be particularly mindful of Christian grace. One US Christian Leader tweeted "Christian, your gay or lesbian neighbour is probably really scared right now. Whatever our genuine disagreements, let's love and pray". This is an especial challenge for a conservative mindset.
May God give us wisdom and compassion to rightly show his love to our neighbours and unequivocally reject violence in any form to all members of our community.