If you have ever been around toddlers, then you’ll be familiar with what I am about to share. When a toddler falls down, their friends or parents are always quick to empathize and say, “ouch!” with them. I know whenever my 2 year old son bonks his head or scrapes his knee, not only do I rush to his side to help, but I quickly take on the verbal ouch that he is saying, “owwy” “ouch” “oh no”. It is what we do as parents.
On Sunday, Orlando, Florida experienced a horrible tragedy. This mass shooting in a night club called, “Pulse”, is now considered the worst mass shooting in recent US history. We are a nation that is grieving. It is hard when any shooting or act of terror hits our home, but what is even harder, is figuring out how to be a leader in this type of situation.
Leaders, I know it may be hard to sit back and empathize, but as pastors, non-profits, or people in ministry–so often it is what we must do. An event like the one in Florida is difficult on many different levels. Thinking about how many of those inside that night club were Christians, thinking about the gunman, his family, and their faith. It can break our hearts and tear us in two. I know my church family felt that during the service on Sunday.
Just as we lead toddlers and let them know they’ll be okay, we can say “ouch!”. We are a nation in mourning this week, and as leaders, sometimes we just need to take the time after a tragedy and reflect on what our own lives mean. You, whoever is reading this, have a purpose in your leadership role. To impact someone who may be considering pulling off an act of terror like the one in Florida, or considering suicide, divorce, or something that we can’t even imagine. It’s a heavy burden, but you are not alone. Your role is important.
Just remember to say “ouch”.