I have not been able to wrap my head around the horrific shootings last week in Charleston. I feel the need to write of it here, to have something to offer you that brings perspective or clarity or some teeny, tiny speck of comfort. But whatever that might be, it surely hasn’t come.
Like you, my friend, I feel soul-crushing loss for the victims and their families. The horror they faced after extending open arms of love is more than I can take. I can’t go there, can’t hold the thought long enough for it to settle, can’t let myself feel–deep down and real–the terror such evil can manifest.
And still it is a reality I must face.
I am a South Carolinian, you see. The young shooter is from my hometown. And every time I read the heartfelt sentiment #prayforcharleston what occurs to me is I wish it were #prayforsouthcarolina. For we are all in this together, we South Carolinians, citizens who must not rest until the lawmakers we elected hear our cry to take down that flag–and actually vote to do it.
Yes, over the decades there have been a thousand points of view in the arguments about that flag and its proper place in our country’s unchangeable history. But one thing is sure. At 9:00 pm on June 17, 2015, South Carolina’s confederate flag came to represent a hatred we can neither tolerate nor perpetuate.
We are the family that love built. We have no room for hating.
This I do know. We are in this together: the strong, forgiving families who’ve already shown us the way; the holy AME church and its faithful worshipers; the beautiful, historic city of Charleston; all of us who call South Carolina home and who know its genuine, generous heart.
Hatred cannot win. Let’s choose love.
Get it down.
*It’s Our Goliath I owe this title to Dr. Mike Bragan, minister at Providence Presbyterian Church, who today delivered a sermon I will never forget. Thank you, Dr. Mike.