As a clergywoman, I was honored to help with the Vigil for Orlando victims organized by Creede Rep which finished out Creede's Gay Pride Day (although word on the street is that they're at Tommyknocker's now finishing the evening). My brief words were accompanied a testimony by Chris (an Orlando native), a poem read by Mehry Eslaminia, songs by Ryan Prince, and impromptu words by others in attendance.
After much celebration (and inevitable libations), we gather as a community to honor the victims of Orlando’s hate crime two weeks ago, and also to celebrate those 49 lives.
As we begin the vigil, here is a poem that appeared in my inbox today titled "For My Young Friends Who Are Afraid" by William Stafford.
There is a country to cross you will
find in the corner of your eye, in
the quick slip of your foot—air far
down, a snap that might have caught.
And maybe for you, for me, a high, passing
voice that finds its way by being
afraid. That country is there, for us,
carried as it is crossed. What you fear
will not go away: it will take you into
yourself and bless you and keep you.
That’s the world, and we all live there.
Please pray with me.
God, it’s a really scary world out there. I would like to use a lot of words to describe how I feel about the exclusivity and bigotry that seems to infiltrate every dark corner in America right now. But those words will have to be set aside, scribbled only in my journal, or cried only to my husband before brushing my teeth or while I’m slicing tomato. Those words are not for public consumption. But neither is the hatred that permeates our culture. And so tonight God, we gather in love. We gather in peace. We gather in hope. Tonight come to honor the souls who danced until their last moment. We gaze at the stars - at the great cloud of witnesses above us, and we call out the names of those who have gone before us. And we say thanks be to God.