In the aftermath of the Charleston shooting, after all has been said and done, it’s difficult to know what to do. We pray for the families, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Then we bathe our babies and put them to bed. We cook and clean up after each meal. We throw our laundry into the washer and the dryer and fold them and put them away. We prepare ourselves and our children for Sunday morning or a middle of the week Bible study where we will go and worship freely in the place that we choose. We file into our rows, and we open our Bibles just like the men and women in Charleston.
There will be nine empty spaces in their church.
Each one loved and cared for. Mother, father, daughter, son, grandmother, grandfather. These people cooked for their babies and kissed them goodnight. They worked long shifts and came home to people that loved them. They leave a legacy. So what will we do in the aftermath of this awful atrocity, this week as the funerals begin?
This morning, as my children ate breakfast and I poured my first cup of coffee, this is what I heard pouring out of my radio speakers in the kitchen. This song. Layered over top of it were the confessions of family members towards the adolescent who had changed their lives forever. Everything stood still inside me as the families of those Graduated to Glory spoke those three words over and over again…I forgive you…I will never hold her again…have mercy on your soul… I forgive you. Over and over again as this song played, they sent out their message. Stomping out the message of hate is this overpowering message of love. A love that conquers all. I couldn’t stop crying in the middle of my kitchen this morning. What do we do now in the aftermath? What is our response to this tragedy?
We do what they did. We forgive.