With all that has happened in the last 24 hours it has been difficult to have a clear mind. It has been difficult to think that a man was filled with such contempt and anger that he would have planned for years to take the lives of the innocent. That he would have lied to himself so much to believe that even the innocent were guilty, and throughout all that time not question whether the path he was on was wrong.
It’s hard because as I write my book to my daughter I’m filled with thoughts as to the world I’m going to leave her in. Whether I will have given her a foundation strong enough for her determined, beautiful, and spiritual self to stand upon. I question whether one day someone will see her and want to take her life solely because of her ethnicity, or her religion.
The reality is, I know she will be a target, just as I know I have been one since birth. Just as I know that the Ronhingya have been, the Uyghurs have been, and countless of my brothers and sisters around the world.
But I also know that during times like these we need to center ourselves around one reality, You.
That it’s during turbulence like this that we need to grab hold of something that will still our hearts, fears, and concerns.
I’m not a pessimist, but it’s not going to get any easier. The times will only get more difficult, more divided, and more filled with hatred and despair.
But I have hope because I believe in you, and that you are All-Powerful, All-Merciful, All-Forgiving, and severe in your punishment.
I believe in Paradise and Hell because I believe you will not only have mercy on your creation, but that you are so perfect in your justice that even the one destined for the fire will attest that they deserve it.
I trust in you completely, and whatever you have decreed is the best.
Whatever life has been taken is only from your mercy.
There is no plan greater than your own.
And even though the eyes shed tears and the heart grieves, I will never say anything except that which is pleasing to you.
Rajab 9th, 1440
March 16th, 2019
Arthur K. Richards