Who are we now?
We are the people of the horror. We are the people of the heart. We are the people of hope.
We are the man who stood before the crowd at the vigil and said how can I be frightened when every New Zealander is standing before me, shoulder to shoulder? We are every New Zealander.
We are the man whose wife was killed, who said I don't hate him at all, I forgive him, if someone does bad to you, make sure you do good to him.
We are the people who believe in the power of doing good. We are the people who have lost everything and now we do not know what good is.
We are the man who made his little children run to safety but could not run to safety himself.
We are the workers from the meatworks who prayed in the mosque on Friday and turned up for work on Saturday, because that is what you are supposed to do. We are the children who drew pictures and made cards so we could say, we are sorry, we love you.
We are the prime minister in a headscarf, we are the man who took his little brother to pray and could not save him when the horror came.
We are the people who placed the flowers for remembrance and would have done it with all the flowers in the world, if we could, although we did not know any of those involved. We are the people who felt the shock and the grief as if they were our own, because they were our own. We are the people who did know some of those involved.
Students look to love at Christchurch school hit by tragedy
We are the people of such grief you cannot understand, because who can understand another's grief? We are the people who share the grief.
All these people are all of us. We are Muslim and Christian, Buddhist and Jew, Hindu and Sikh, believer and non-believer. We are ordinary people and we can do extraordinary things and not all of them are good things.
We are the people on social media who speak with fear and malice and we are the people who speak with hope and love. We are the people who have tried and tried and failed to warn of the hate that has been growing.
We are the people among whom the hate has been growing and now we must learn what to do about that.
We are the gun shops, who had a very good day, and another very good day, and will have more. We are the women at the train station who were threatened and abused and now say they fear to wear their headscarves. We are the man in a grey t-shirt and black pants who did that to them. We are the girl nearby who burst into tears.
We are the people who burst into tears. We are the people who are frightened. We are the people who now know we have to be frightened. We are the ache. We are the loss. We are the tears.
We are the doctors and nurses and trauma response teams who know that with a bullet wound it is best to stop the bleeding, clean the wound then wait until the injured person is out of shock, and only then do you operate. We are the doctors who must explain this, or not explain it, to the loved ones who wait, weeping. We are the loved ones who wait, weeping. We are the people with the bullet wound.
We are the doctors and nurses in the ICU who know that many patients do not make it out of the ICU. We are everyone who waits and hopes, gulping our fear, because what else can we do or should we do?
We are the people who look after the bodies and cannot do anything to stop the pain of those who want them back. We are the police who must knock on the door and tell you the most terrible news in the world. We are the most terrible news in the world. We are the people who open the door.
We are the florists who give flowers. We are the people who will wash the bodies and bind them and say our prayers for them and bury them. We are the people left behind.
We are the father and the mother, the daughter and the son, the wife, the husband, we are the friend, we are the man on the prayer mat, we are the man next to us on the prayer mat whose name we do not know. We are the old woman in the corner who could not get up. We are the woman who tried to help her up. We are the woman who stood and tried to protect the others. We are the others.
We are the dead. We are the living. We are the people with darkness within and we are the light.
We are the people who know about the darkness in others but cannot always see it in ourselves. We are the people who are lost in who we are.
We are the police who rammed the car and could have been shot, who dragged out the man and saw he had more guns and there could be bombs and still they did not hesitate. We are the people who do not hesitate.
We are the man crawling up the hallway, the woman broken on the steps, the little girl who ran the wrong way, because every way was the wrong way. We are the people who saved others.
We are the people who could not save ourselves.
We are the children at school today. We are the workers in offices and shops, and on farms and in factories. We are the people who stand in the street today, alone and in the crowd, and we do not always reach out, but we want to believe we can.
We are all of us. We are the people who cannot live in a society like this. We are the people who do not know how to change it so we can live in it. We are the people who do not know how to be safe. We are the people who must now find out.
We are the best of us and we are the worst of us.
We are citizens of the world. We are all of us.
We are the people who will keep watch while you pray.