A ‘Holy City’ of Forgiveness In The Shadow of Tragedy

I originally sub-titled this blog before putting up my first post “When the news that should make sense…doesn’t”.

What happened in my hometown of Charleston, SC this week truly did not make sense.

I know Charleston to be a welcoming city.  It was with that spirit that the members of “Mother Emanuel” — Emanuel A.M.E. Church welcomed a young man into their Wednesday night bible study to sit, reflect and pray alongside them.

Dylann Roof accepted their kindness..and in return took nine of the lives in that sanctuary.

I won’t profess to know what makes a 21-year-old man so angry and jaded to commit such a heinous act.

But not only is Charleston a welcoming city.  Its people who have been hurt and wronged are a God-fearing and forgiving people.

At Thursday’s bond hearing for Dylann Roof, members of the victims’ families had the option to give impact statements directly to the accused.  Their comments are inspiring.

 

A Facebook post from a young man names Marcus Stanley — who survived being shot eight times several years ago — also demonstrates the power of forgiveness.  The day after the Charleston shooting, he posted:

“I broke down in tears crying this morning thinking about the darkness, hatred, and pain that exists in this world. My prayer is that we will all fix our eyes on things eternal, and hold to God’s unchanging hand. We have become blinded by hatred… blinded by politics… blinded by our economy… blinded by jealousy… blinded by rage… blinded by social status… and blinded by greed. Pray that those who are blind will now see. Lord OPEN our eyes so that we can see CLEARLY. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.”

That’s how we all should be.  I understand the anger, but in forgiveness — all burdens are lifted and the best of who we are shines through.

Please remember Charleston, SC in your prayers.

 

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