In Remembrance…

…of the dear, blessed souls of Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina…both the souls who rest now in the eternal arms of Jesus, as well as those who mourn their loss.  This is also for those of us who still grieve.  May we all know God’s peace and the protection of the Holy Spirit.

 

For at least the next 12 days, I will be reflecting (and possibly writing) on the Mother Emanuel episode from last summer. As a native of Charleston, child of the 60’s, student of segregation and desegregation, raised in a culture steeped in racism and backlash, my grief is complex. Not wanting to expose my struggles in public, I will be writing a great deal that will end up in the trash. Furthermore, I intend to NOT use this anniversary as an opportunity to try to change people’s hearts. I will, however, pray…fervently. But those who still mourn deserve a respectful remembrance, a bowed head, long moments of silence, and a prayer that they will be wrapped in unspeakable peace.

If anyone wishes to express their sentiments to the members of Mother Emanuel, to the friends or families of those lost, to the world, or to God, you may leave them as comments here. It is my intention to print this both before and after the 17th and mail it to…or deliver it to…Mother Emanuel Church.

I realize many, if not all, of those most strongly affected by the event, wish for their lives and grief be private. I beg their forgiveness. I know, however, that to be able to express our grief…those of us who mourn from a distance…helps us to cope. It is for all of us, with the (hopeful) blessing of Jesus, that I present this.

To the Glory of God…

 

6 thoughts on “In Remembrance…

  1. Loss for all is a devastating place emotionally. Although my connection with this church is not personal but understandable through the body of Christ, I offer my condolences and prayers for you. I appreciate you sharing your heart and do accept the call to pray for all those going through at this time.

    Dear Lord,
    Even in remembrance, I pray your peace permeates the hearts and souls of those grieving this loss. I pray that You would bless them with Your strength as well as the peace that passes understanding. I pray that you help them to comfort each other during this difficult and trying time. I pray they would remember the great things about those loved ones who have passed into glory and that they would afterwards celebrate for those who have reached their homecoming. You heal all wounds with time, Lord, and so this prayer is for those who might feel the pain again in their reflection.

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  2. “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.” Col.1:24 Paul felt that his many sufferings in some way provided a form of sanctification for the assemblies which he planted. I would want the families and friends of the victims to know that, as deep as the grief still is, their suffering and death is not in vain, but is precious in the sight of the Lord, and He is using it even as we speak to provide spiritual support. The very foundation of the gospel is the unjust suffering of the righteous on behalf of the unrighteous. They have not suffered in vain. There will be a great reward for those who have lost all they have for the sake of the kingdom.

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  3. Kitsy, I value, indeed, honor you and your sensibilities. All murders are tragic, for they involve the deaths of ones beloved by many, many others, hence, the circles of grief are vast and, as the losses of life are permanent, ever-widening as days become weeks and weeks, months, and months, years. As sorrowful, I think and feel is the reality, in the main and for most of us, that only the beloved of the beloved who have died harbor their memories in their hearts. The rest of us, the rest of the world goes on, perhpas until the shadowy spectre of death comes calling at our doors.

    To the end that none who die are lost to the greater recollection of the larger community, know that I remember Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Clementa C. Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson.

    My prayers continually ascend, bidding that God grant the beloved of these beloved nine the abundnat solace of strength and the abiding strength of solace.

    I also pray for Dylann Roof that his soul might be stirred with contrition and his heart healed of hate.

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    1. Those are grace-filled, beautiful truths, Reverend. I am blessed to be able to pass them along and present them to the world. The names are so important because we are called by name. Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Clementa C. Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson. And thank you for remembering Dylan Roof, as well. (Jesus, I ask that you use your power to heal him, turn his heart as you did Saul’s, and may he be an example for others in that way. In Your Name, Amen.)

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