Certain Images can evoke powerful emotion. I looked at several pictures that where presented to me recently. I examined the photos closely waiting for something to hit me. Nothing did. I just sat in my chair staring and thinking. After some thought, I decided on the picture that is seen below. It’s a man in a church looking at the altar. He is oblivious to his surroundings as he sits there with God and his prayers.
I thought about the Charleston church massacre. I wondered if they were sitting similar to the man in the photo. Were they quietly conversing with God and expecting a house of worship to be peaceful and welcoming. Why shouldn’t it be this way? Churches have harbored fugitives from dictators and slaves from harsh masters. So what should be different about this occasion? However, a monster was sitting in the back just as peaceful and unnoticed. Why would followers of Christ believe a man in a church was about to harm them and take several lives. He could be there seeking comfort in God during a time of need. He could be afflicted with a terrible disease. Who knew the race hatred bubbling inside of him was about to explode on innocents just seeking God.
I wonder what hideous thoughts went thru the mass murder’s mind as he sat there probably stealing sneaky glances at his victims. His anger seeping thru his pores, as he placed all his accusations on the backs of innocents. I wonder as he clutched the weapons he brought into the House of God, did he feel a twinge of empathy for the lives he was about to end. I wonder did he think about the love he was about to remove from a family. Did he wonder about the thousands of tears and wails he would bring into existence? His hatred was boundless and blinding. He didn’t see people. All he saw were objects of his warped misplaced aggression.
I continue to feel for the families affected by what happened that day in a historic church. A church founded by a father of revolt and justice. I hope for healing of the Charleston community. A community, like most southern cities, stained with the memory of Jim Crow. I pray one day we can move past the problem of race and see people for just what they are human beings. We, as citizens of Earth, have similar dreams, aspirations, triumphs and trajedies. I know this won’t be the last massacre but maybe one day we will regulate this violence to the past.