We Are Charleston…and we are winning over hate with love.
Photo credit: Facebook
I’m in tears this morning as I watch our community win over hate with love. It can be the hardest thing in the world to do when we are angry, but I’ve always said that I do not want to bond with people because of where we’ve been, but where we are going. In the same thread of positivity and growth, I love being part of a community where we bond over our love for each other and not our hate for each other, where we surround each other with love and prayers and mourn with each other. That is how we win over hate, not with anger, not with more hate, but with love. The grace through which this church has handled this is God-breathed. The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church has lead with grace from the moment they welcomed a stranger into their church, and they continue to lead with grace as they give forgiveness to the shooter.
Love wins over hate.
And we do love each other here. Many of us, like myself, were born and raised here. Having been born in the 60s, that is a lot of years. We have gone to school together our whole lives. We have been friends. We are even friends with each other’s children. We have helped each other. We have worked side by side. We are neighbors and best friends. We say hello when we pass total strangers because that is just the way many of us are. How could we let hate make us forget all the good…all the kindness…all the love.
Jesus left us with two of the most important commandments….love God most of all…and love one another. This is how we will be known. And it is this love for others and for the same God that makes us truly brothers and sisters. We have the same father when we serve the same God.
This was a horrible crime against humanity. There is no excuse for it. There is no justification for it. And it was done because of hate in someone’s heart for someone because of the color of their skin. When did we lose all regard for the value of human life? All lives matter.
But a racist person, white or black, does not make a whole community of racists. We have all been on the other end of racism. We all know what that feels like, and it is wrong. Racism begets racism. Hate begets hate. But love wins over all. May a new tomorrow begin in the hearts of each of us today with a decision to not meet hate with hate, but with love. Let’s be the solution. Have nothing but love for each other. There are racists white people. And there are racists black people. We cannot let that divide THE REST OF US. We cannot let that make us into someone we are not. Let’s unite as brothers and sisters, not with a color, not against a color, but as people, as a community, for love and kindness. Love wins over hate.
While this did happen to a race, it did not just happen to a race. It happened to our community. To our friends and neighbors. It happened to our brothers and sisters in Christ. It happened to all of us, and we are all devastated. All of our hearts are bleeding today for these families, and they all bleed red. We all have the same color blood. And we stand together. And we love even when it’s hard. But most of all, we do not let things like this tear us apart, but we let it bring us even closer. And today we mourn with you as our hearts break for all the victims and their families in this devastating tragedy.
A few comments by John Hayward are words to take to heart on a battle this congregation didn’t even know they were fighting.
Sources told NBC News that during his confession, he said he “almost didn’t go through with it because everyone was so nice to him,” but in the end decided he had to “go through with his mission.”
“And yet, the pastor and congregants of the Emanuel AME church came so very close to winning a battle for Roof’s heart and soul that they didn’t know they were fighting.”
“When a historic black church welcomed a white youth into their prayer service, they made a statement no murderer can erase.”
— John Hayward (@Doc_0) June 18, 2015
We are indeed fighting a battle and do not even realize it, a spiritual battle between good and evil. Good almost won over evil this day. It came so close. This is a spiritual battle, my friends. The enemy took something from us that night, but it did not win. Fight the good fight of love and faith. Love wins over hate.
What Satan meant for evil, God is using for good even as our hearts still bleed over our loss. Our horrible and devastating loss. This person failed at what they meant to accomplish. He did not start a race war. What he did accomplish was to bring National attention to God’s grace and love in action.
Well done, Holy City. Well done.
I have never been prouder of my community for winning over hate with love.
We each have a choice every day to sow seeds of hate or love. What will you choose to sow today?
Tweet these and share the message of love…
[tweetthis]Well done, Holy City. Well done. #prayforcharleston #winningoverhatewithlove #chs[/tweetthis]
[tweetthis]A community winning over hate with love.#prayforcharleston #winningoverhatewithlove #chs[/tweetthis]
[tweetthis]What seeds will you choose to sow today? #prayforcharleston #winningoverhatewithlove #chs[/tweetthis]
#prayforcharleston #lovewinsoverhate #winningoverhatewithlove #winning #charlestonstrong #charlestonproud #holycity #onelove