I didn’t hear about the the horrific events in Charleston, SC and AME Church until the following morning. Before I checked the news, I was going through my bible study and it talked about praying for the cities and nation we live in. So I spent time praying for America. I love America, of course, but we are a hurting nation.
The ending especially resonated with me:
“Just as Solomon prayed for the people, may we love the Lord with all our hearts. May we live according to His Word, and then we can intercede on behalf of our nation, and ask God to “forgive our sins, Lord. Forgive us so that you can heal our land” (2 Chronicles 7:14) (from Leaving Ordinary: Encounter God through Extraordinary Prayer by Donna Gaines)
Moments later I read about Charleston.
I kept thinking “please tell me this isn’t for real. Please tell me this is some horrible nightmare. How many more stories will splash across newspapers and the web? How many more times will innocent lives be taken? Lord Jesus, just come already.”
Y’all it hurts. The sin. The hate. The evil.
And I’m so tired. While I know ultimately why these things happens, it still doesn’t stop me from asking that same question. Why?
This post isn’t meant to stir political debate or push an agenda because that’s the last thing I want to do in the face of such horrific circumstances. These are simply thoughts that have been on my heart (with all the events in the past year) and I hope, if anything, provide a place for discussion.
Why are people unwilling to call the attack what it was? From his own mouth he said it was because he wanted to start a race war. I’m sure y’all know the details that further prove this, yet people don’t want to call it a racist attack, but instead jump to mental illness or drug use. How can we began to heal if we can’t admit what we’re facing? I’m thankful for the many Christian leaders (of all backgrounds) who have spoken up, like Momastry:
“To those who claim, still, that this is simply about one man’s mental illness; who think the answer to this tragedy lies entirely “inside the mind of the killer” — Let me say: No. That’s denial. Don’t look at him. Look at US. Our country’s denial of racism is — at best — a severe, deadly collective case of delusion. Let us not carry on with the denial that will keep us sick. Looking into our OWN collective mind is a critical part of the answer. Because at this point the denial of racism can only be racism itself.”
Or Jen Hatmaker:
I know (because so many of you tell me privately) that as a white person, you are afraid to talk about racism publicly. You’re worried about getting the language right, the tone right, the facts right. You’re nervous about the inevitable backlash.
Maybe we can start here together, friends: when we see evil racism in front of us, we name it, expose it, and condemn it. We don’t protect the specificity of it by brushing it under the “sin umbrella” without naming its evil roots. We would never tell a rape victim that it wasn’t heinous sexual abuse that deserves addressing, but it’s just an unnamed sin. Nor would we ignore the necessary justice component of that abuse with a spiritual whitewash.
So for those of you hoping to become allies to the black community, today we can declare together that Dylann Roof committed a racially-motivated mass murder, and we condemn it as the Bride of Christ.
Just that. We see it, we name it, and we condemn it. The end. And we commit to join you in the healing process.
Why is the conversation about race so hard to have? I’m genuinely curious, but also would add: Please don’t ignore the conversation. One reason I love my book club is because we always end up talking about these kinds of issues. We’re Black, Spanish, White, Asian and Mexican and these are some of my favorite conversations. We respect each other and want to make the world better.
Might it be awkward to talk about race? Might it be uncomfortable? Yeah, especially in the beginning, but please, talk about it. Ask questions. Seek understanding. When people say “I’m tired of people throwing out the race card” in these types of situations, I sometimes wonder if that’s simply choosing not to understand.
While I believe there needs to be changes in gun laws, why must so much of focus on the weapon choice? Why are we moving away from the people? The terrorists from after the Civil War through Civil Rights used ropes and bombs to accomplish their agenda. It’s so much more deeper than the weapon used, it’s why these people are choosing to murder people to begin with.
There’s a lot of other “whys” out there and my heart has weighed heavy since the shootings, but I needed to get a few thoughts out, so thanks internet and readers for joining me.
I believe more than ever Christians have a chance to be a light. Together. The forgiveness the families have already shown? Wow – what a testimony. Beauty truly does rise from the ashes.
This world continues to get darker and darker, so may we shine brighter and brighter and live lives that show what it means to be changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Because that’s the only thing that will make a difference in this world.
May you be blessed today and tell someone you love them!