What goes on in Orlando?
Once in a while, a place gets hit by a run of events.
First, in May, Orlando, one of the top tourist destinations in America, made headlines for its annual Gay Day at Disney World.
Next, there was news that the famous televangelist Jan Crouch, co-founder of TBN, and so tied into Orlando (her corporation, the world’s largest Christian media conglomerate by far, owns a biblical theme park there) died.
Soon after that, last weekend, on Friday night, the city was in the news again, this time for a violent tragedy.
As the Orlando Weekly put it (their photo of her, below), “Christina Grimmie had just finished doing what she loved best – performing – at a Friday evening show, playing with her friends in Before You Exit at the Plaza Live. Grimmie, an outgoing 22-year-old singer, YouTube star, and former contestant on The Voice, was now doing what any down-to-earth musician would do following a concert: hanging out in the lobby, talking to fans and signing autographs. Spirits were high. At some point during the meet-and-greet, however, 27-year-old Kevin Loibl approached Grimmie seemingly out of nowhere, produced a handgun and shot her.”
A guy had come to Orlando from the Tampa area expressly, it seems, to kill her (before he killed himself).
It was the major headline on networks and news sites, never mind the social-media-buzz snuggery.
She “loved the Lord,” said her brother. A big story. Much bigger than gay days.
But the next night, Saturday, a far bigger headline splashed onto computer screens around the world.
It’s one of those days you will always remember because (several miles away from Plaza Live, and half an hour’s drive from Disney) — this time at a homosexual nightclub called Pulse — another gunman from the other side of Florida (Fort Pierce), with terrorist ties to radical Islam (and ISIS), perhaps gay himself, and with a father who apparently hates America (yet lives here; a Taliban supporter from Afghanistan), opened fire for three hours on the patrons in the middle of song and revelry and dance, killing forty-nine of them and injuring another fifty-two or so before he was shot to death by police.
It was the worst mass shooting in the history of America.
It did nothing for Disney.
A big deal. Headlines around the world. Still the top of the news. Even a key issue, now, in the extraordinary election we are entering for president of the United States (dangerous times!).
It also turned out that the terrorist had scouted out Disney Springs, an outdoor restaurant, retail, and entertainment complex at Walt Disney World, just hours before unloading down I-4 at the nightclub.
He nearly did his thing at Disney!
(It was also the worst act of terror on American soil since September 11, 2001, if you don’t think that plane crash in Queens, New York, of an American Airlines flight just weeks later, in November, — which was quickly shuffled off front pages despite 256 dead — was also terrorism. See that case here).
Anyway, not three full days after the Pulse nightclub massacre, the besieged city of Orlando was again at the very top of all national and much international news because a two-year-old boy was dragged to his death at Disney’s Floridian Resort (in one of their man-made “lakes”) by an alligator.
One can only imagine the trauma for the family.
Do pray: the father tried to wrest his son away from the animal. (Were there no warnings, as there are across the state, at places of freshwater, that gators are there — Disney?)
Alligators kill far less humans than pit bulls (or for that matter lightning, never mind traffic accidents on I-4, the interstate that leads to Disney), but the tragedy excites fear and the imagination, as well as heartbreak.
Three times in one week the City of Orlando is the lead story in much of the world for horrid tragedy, despite a metro area not huge by today’s standards, ranking twenty-fourth in the nation.
What gives? Just the way incidents coalesce?
Is it too esemplastic to search for a thread?
Or, as Carl Jung coined it, synchronicity? Oh, Orlando, home to Harry Potter, home to a raucous nightlife, home to glitz and the material: shed ye the evil.
Many years ago, we warned the same for New Orleans.
Hurricanes do come across here, Orlando, and you are famous for your lightning (a good storm can generate 4,500 strikes in an hour) — and of late in the same place it seems to strike more than twice.
Stay tuned for the next “special report” on certain places in the world and particularly America that harbor certain spiritual dynamics.
But mainly, pray.
That’s what some billboards along 1-4 past Orlando are saying today.
[see also: Gunman railed against ‘filth’ in the West]
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Pray always for purity and love