A week ago today someone walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina, sat with a prayer group for an hour, pulled out a gun and proceeded to kill nine people.
There are so many upsetting things about this story that it is difficult to talk about just one without bringing up the others, including the fact that it was racially motivated. Since the shooting, I have seen friends turn on each other on Facebook and Instagram. My news feed showcases articles arguing opinions from one extreme end of the spectrum to the other. We don’t have cable or access to local news channels but I can only imagine the conversations being had on television.
Above all else, what saddens me the most is that nine people lost their lives in a sacred space where they felt safe. My heart has been especially heavy this past week and I am realizing I am in mourning for nine people I have never met. My heart hurts not only for their family members and the community in Charleston, but for anyone else who has experienced such disrespect for human life.
Today we are praying for all of these people, may they feel God’s love showering down on them and that we as Christians continue to choose love over hate, always. We also pray that people will begin to treat each other as equals, and that our society will begin to support a culture of mutual respect for all its members.