Last Wednesday evening, a group of people gathered at their church home for prayer and bible study. They entered into that church, in the middle of the week, bringing with them all the burdens that had been placed on them since Sunday. They came to encourage one another and to be encouraged. On Wednesday night nine of those people were shot and killed, and a community was shaken down to it's core.
In working in new, I have found that I can often be desensitized to the death stories we report on daily: gang shootings, car accidents... they all seem to blur together while I'm at work. But this was a hard story to listen to....
my initial reactions:
I was confused.... thinking, "did that really just happen?"
I wanted to wave this in the face of people who insist that racism doesn't exist anymore.
I'm heart broken for the spouses, parents, children and friends who are now grieving the disturbing loss of these people.
But the emotion that burned the brightest was anger! I wanted to shout at the young man who did this and to ask him in what crazy world did he think that shooting and killing people was okay.
It took almost all day Thursday for me to really sort out all of my feelings. And just before bed, as I wondered where God was in all of this, the wisdom of the Hold Spirit revealed several truths that were deeply needed. The first one coming from a devotional I'd read a few days before.
God was, and is, at work.
Even in the midst of all this evil and hurt, the God of the universe is working to advance His Kingdom.
And even though my sinful nature wants to hate the shooter, to look down on him and demand he pay for what he did, that's not the Gospel I've been adopted into.
If I'm really living out this Gospel then I have to love Dylann Roof. Not only that, but I'm called to to pray that the redemptive work of Christ would be fulfilled in his life. I'm called to love him and pray that one day he would repent of his sins-- so that he too would praise and worship Christ for eternity in heaven.
However, it's easy to talk about love, forgiveness and praying for someone who's hurt us on a blog but it's so much harder to live this out in my daily life. So Christ gives a reminder.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
twenty-something, daughter, sister, friend, follower of Christ, lover of all things media. welcome to the journey girl trying to find her place