Friday, June 19, 2015

Standing Strong in the Holy City

I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining
I believe in love, even when I do not feel it
I believe in God, even when he is silent.
written by a holocaust  prisoner on the wall of Auschwitz

It is 97 degrees in Charleston.

We woke up to a different city today. The city we went to sleep in was not the same we woke up too. Somewhere in between evil walked into the most sacred of places and showed itself. It was, like most evils, insidiously. Slipping in quietly, unnoticed, but leaving everyone in the city changed.
13 parishioners left their home Wednesday, kissed their spouses and kids, grabbed a bite to eat and went to Bible Study to pray and thank the Lord for all He has done. Nine of the 13 met the Lord that very night.
There has been a lot of discussion regarding the brutality of the crime, where it happened. The statement “if you cannot be safe in church, where can you be safe?”
I contend they were safe. If they were there, evil was there, God was there too. He alone knew the outcome. He gathered them up and took them home. What better way to meet God then while in the process of praising Him?
See, when they were saying see you later to their family, God alone knew it was goodbye, temporally until we meet again.
We did not know, but the God of Abraham, Moses and Joshua knew.
I have Tasha and two of her friends over today. It seems listening to their conversation

, It seems as if everything is about death today. Polly Pocket has met her demise many times today. The very interesting thing is, they are not discussing race, this has not occurred to them.
Not taking away from the fact racism is important, but because there is hope.
The thing is, it is not every white person. This was the doing of one person, with hatred in his heart and he represented not anyone else.
A truer show of God’s word and putting it into action are the survivors. Standing in court, where we hear a lot of negative reactions. We hear love and pain. The families as they acknowledge the pain and the change in their lives then let the orchestrator of that change: they have forgiven him.
The city moves forward, helping the survivors survive. They know their city surrounds them, and are as horrified as they are.

Tasha and her friends are playing, They are not noticing the different colors, race, hair of each other. They are friends. The death and playing death is coming to terms with what has happened. Gabby, one of her friends lost her softball coach, and a friend from our local library. Tasha also know the librarian.

I hear them whispering about what has happened. Trying to figure out what they have heard. In the end, the end up making a playdough cake to share.
Everyday these girls learn something new. One of the things so far, they have not learned to hate. Yes learned. That is taught also.
I have to believe these children are our future. I have to believe this because, if they aren't we haven't any future. 
The citizens of Charleston both white and black are headed downtown to a memorial;. they are going to let us know no, let the world know Charleston earned its name of the "Holy City" and we practice it. We learned from a dark history of racial tensions, slavery, and Jim Crow. I can see on Facebook the world is trying to return to normal.

Memorial service, funeral services and mourning are in the near future for Charleston. But there is a morning, it will never be the same but it will be a morning. We will wake up to the new reality, and be proud that we are the Holy City.. We will remember how we came together to honor the dead rather then destroy a community. We will remember as we return to reality and step out of this nightmare: the evil made us stronger.

For today it is 97 degrees in Charleston

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