Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church: A Story of Love and The Life After Death

The breaking news of the shootings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was one that I listened to and read about without allowing any of the sensationalism of a “breaking news story” to influence me. I did this by carefully listening to the first words of whatever coverage I heard and deciding quickly if I wanted to hear this particular representation of events or not.

In the last days, I watched part of a CNN interview with two of the friends of Tywanza Sanders and one with the best friend and daughter of the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton. The type of people that they were and the impact that they had on the lives of those who knew and loved them was summed up for me especially in the interview where the daughter spoke of her mother’s teaching on giving people a second chance.

I don’t believe being given a second chance will make any difference to Dylann Roof in the foreseeable time but my prayer is that it will be a need that instilled in his heart. That he will come to repent of his act of crime. So, that said I am joining my voice with that of the daughter of Sharonda Coleman-Singleton in choosing to love instead of hating this blinded young man.

What happens legally to him under the law will happen.

Life has taught me that a change of heart doesn’t necessarily come about without some hard time in isolation. A type of isolation where a person is cut off from all that they knew and in this aloneness God can be truly heard if they listen. This is what I wish for him spiritually. Because this is what is dead inside of him and this deadness needs to be raised to life: hence, his second chance.

Sunday evening I read these online news stories:

‘Hate Crime’: A Mass Killing at a Historic Church

Why Is the Flag Still There?

The Victims: 9 Were Slain At Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church

The Cross and the Confederate Flag

I want to share with you a quote that Yoni Appelbaum included in his article “Why Is the Flag Still There?”. It gives a perspective on the Confederate flag that Dylann Roof is holding in the photograph used in this article.

“Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination birthed in defense of the rights of slaveholders in 1845, issued a remarkable plea:

“The symbol was used to enslave the little brothers and sisters of Jesus, to bomb little girls in church buildings, to terrorize preachers of the gospel and their families with burning crosses on front lawns by night….The cross and the Confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire….Let’s take down that flag.””

On his blog Russell Moore goes on to say this: “That sort of symbolism is out of step with the justice of Jesus Christ. The cross and the Confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire.”

I for one say that flag and what it represents has already been set on fire. I see the flames and smoke from here. The hearts of the people who would hold to this symbolism need to be burned with this as well.

In the end God’s love will win.