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Writers on the Her View From Home team, wanted to express their thoughts and prayers during this terrible tragedy. In their words – Prayers For Orlando.


Imagine it’s 9:00 pm on a Saturday night. You and your friends are applying makeup, teasing your hair, and trying on multiple outfits as you prepare for a night out on the town.

You have had a busy week and it’s time to just let loose, have some fun dancing the night away.

You are at you favorite club grooving to the beat, making new friends, when out of nowhere tragedy strikes.

A lone man comes into the club and begins to shoot innocent people.

Your happiness is turned into fear and uncertainty. You are left with the question, “why.” Why would someone harm innocent people? What is going to happen next? Will I survive this horrific night?

This has become way to common in our world today. This is not the America I was raised in. It is not the America I want my children to be raised in. I don’t have solutions only questions. I have deep sorrow for all of the families involved in this tragedy. I pray that our leaders will somehow find a way to protect us. With the elections looming and all the negative mud slinging of our politicians, I just wish differences could be placed aside long enough to put what matters first. Americans deserve to feel safe and protected. We need to unite and bring back the strength and beliefs in which our forefathers founded this amazing country. May God be with you all!

 – Patricia Geurds


Help us to find the words and the actions to oppose extremism of any kind. Help us to be strong in the face baseless hatred. Help us to focus on our commonalities. Help us to fill the gullies that separate us. Strengthen the hands of the healers and may our words be a verbal salve.

-Helene Hirsch Wingens


I pray for you, those who have lost loved ones to acts of hate or terror.
I pray for you, the victims, who tried to survive, who hid behind chairs, who ran for their lives, who fell before they reached the door.
I pray for our President who must stand behind a podium over and over, trying to assure our citizens that we are safe, we are brave, we will rise above.
I pray for our children who can’t seem to understand why there is so much hate felt by one person against another that he would use it to kill, to maim, to assault, to destroy.
I pray for someone to hear, to listen, to make it end, to forgive.
I pray for peace. I pray for love. I pray for us.

-Tammi Landry Gilder


“We know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate.” Barack Obama

Isn’t that sentence scary? Isn’t this world scary? The recent massacre that occurred in Orlando has hit close home to me. Not because I live in Florida, but because I have a gay brother and also a transgendered niece. The heinous act took place in a gay nightclub.

An act of terror and hate. This makes me so scared for my brother and niece who are dealing with these issues head on. I remember sitting my three young daughters down and explaining that their cousin Stevie would be a girl now. They didn’t blink. They didn’t judge, they sat and listened. At the end of my conversation they were only concerned if their cousin would change his name. Oh to be a sweet innocent child.

Everyone, teach your kids love. Explain things to them and show them tolerance. This won’t solve all the problems in the world, but it’s a start. I pray that the future generation has their own opinions, but they practice tolerance. I’ve had enough hate. Oh to be a sweet innocent child in this cruel world.

-Katie Brady


There are no easy answers right now. When devastation swoops in and robs us of lives, we are left scrambling for cover. It IS easy to let things slip into the same tired ruts of political sides and each do our best to shout each other down, in efforts to prove how right we are.

But, at the end of the day, what do any of us gain from it? What will it do for Orlando? As a Christian, there is an expected corner to take-at least, in some circles-but, I just can’t do that. When humanity suffers, God has no prerequisites or limitations on who He would ask us to pray for or extend a loving hand of help to. May this be a time of healing, a mending of souls, rather than the usual divisive rhethoric on either side of the table. It’s really the only hope we’ve got. It doesn’t mean having to change what we believe in to extend the love of Christ across the aisle, after all. From a tiny piece of rural Kansas, prayers are coming, Florida. Hold tight to His hand. God’s got you.

 – Marisa Ulrich


“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” Fred Rogers

Once again we reel in the wake of a tragedy. Once again, we struggle to explain something to our children which we as adults don’t understand. Human evil is something we should never have to wrap our minds around, let alone explain to our children. I don’t think I’m the only one who is at a loss today, who has the television off, and who is hugging my children a little closer and a little harder in the wake of unspeakable evil.

But our kids will ask, and when they ask, we need to be prepared. So on days like today, I go back and review the most basic, simple resource I know of, Fred Rogers’ Parent Resources. With his tender spirit, he breaks down what it takes to help children feel safe and reassured when the news is blaring about death. I too get a little reassurance myself from Mr Rogers’ slow, deliberate, voice reminding me how to help my children cope.

So I, for one, will sit down and chat with them, and remind them of the good, and help them process. Then we will go outside, throw a frisbee, flop into the hammocks, and giggle and wiggle together, to shine a bit of light into a world which feels awfully dark again today.

 – Alethea Mshar


When seemingly preventable, horrific events happen, we really only have a few options. We allow the tragedy to polarize us where we blame all the world’s ills on one group of people. Or we even blame the victims if we do not agree with their lifestyle or choices. Maybe instead we become indifferent to the news and are not moved at all. Instead I hope this Orlando news clip drives us to pray for those affected directly and indirectly by what has taken place. May this remind us all that we are desperate for God’s grace and mercy to meet us in the storm. 

-Gretchen Garrison


Today’s tragedy is indicative of the hate that stems from anger. God never meant for us to be made from one mold. He created diversity as one means to keep us learning and listening. Ignorance, stupidity and selfishness are not excuses for our behavior. “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” ~ Isaac Asimov

-Kathy Gemmell


Words are little comfort at times like this. So many of us are unsure what to do, how to react; what to say to our children or one another right now. The media shows the same scenes on a loop, flashing the face of the monster responsible for yet another heinous act.
However, I refuse to believe in a world dominated by monsters, hatred, greed, and close mindedness. I believe in a world where we are all created equally, and all life is sacred and beautiful. I believe in kindness always, even when it is not deserved. I refuse to concentrate on the darkness.
Instead, I will concentrate on the countless men and women who risk their lives to run into gunfire to save others. I will concentrate on the nurses, the doctors, the paramedics, the firefighters and EMTs, the good Samaritans, and most of all, the victims and the loved ones of the victims.
Words are little comfort, however, they are necessary. My whole heart aches for you, and your families. We will not let this person or others like him snuff out your brilliant light with their darkness. I am praying for you, and sending an abundance of love and positive thoughts.
–Trish Eklund
When did it become the norm for us to have to post almost everyday about the hatred spewing out from every corner of our country?
Have we gone a week without a senseless killing based upon ignorance and prejudice and bigotry?
Now I understand the fanatics who claim that the world is coming to an end. It sometimes feels like that is closer to the truth than my reality which is to believe that the better men and women will overthrow the evil ones.
-Lisa Leshaw
We need more than ever to help souls who are suffering, sick and in mental distress at all levels of society. Human beings need connection, understanding and love. Modern society needs to move towards teaching love, peace and inclusiveness in families, schools, government and all religious organizations. Love is the only way, and unless that is shown early on and children are raised with that, fear of the unknown and violence will continue to destroy lives. I pray for all the victims, their families, the perpetrator’s family, and the pain they are feeling, and for those in positions of power to start making changes to the way our system teaches love and respect for all life.
-Joanne Giacomini
In hushed voices, away from little ears, we talk about the evils of humankind. Because we want to slide them in slowly to just how awful humans can treat each other. Because the moment will come when they will have to learn just how evil the world can be. When we can no longer shield them from the pain. With each passing day they learn a little more about the world; the beauty and the horror. 
Someday we tell them all the world’s secrets, but not today. 
Because we must teach them the ways of the world slowly. We must teach them of kindness and courage; before they learn of violence caused by hate and evil. We must protect the veil of innocence. We only get it for such a short time. It lifts much too soon; and our eyes begin to see horrors that the innocence of youth had once protected us from. 
-Kelly Maeser
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