Some Thoughts in the Aftermath of Charleston


How do you begin to try and make sense out of something that is so senseless?  Where do you start?  I usually begin with prayer but today I am finding the words difficult to form.  I am trying not to get mad or depressed, but it is extremely difficult, sometimes I feel like God is not with us but at the same time I feel the presence of God in an overwhelming way.

We are once again, witnesses to a shooting and the taking of innocent lives in a church in Charleston South Carolina.  I will not speculate about the motive but the man was white and the victims we all black.  It is not a race issue, but it is.  It is not a gun control issue, but it is.  It is not a mental health problem, but it is.  It is all of these things wrapped together into one package, and it all stems from one place, lack of respect for human life.

The Christian tradition I am from teaches that all human life is sacred from its creation to its natural finish and yes, that includes the person who pulled the trigger.  This comes in part from the theology that all of humanity is created in the image and likeness of God, and we are all given that divine spark at our creation.

We are living in a society that holds nothing sacred from cemeteries to worship spaces to human life.  Once we have no further use for something, we only throw it away as if it means nothing because we can just get another one.  The taking of a human life, in a manner such as we saw in Charleston, is the same.  Those lives meant nothing to the shooter, he did not see them as God creation, even though he sat in Church with them for reportedly more than an hour, he saw them as things and as things they can be disposed of.

Violence entered a place of worship last night.  The place that brings forth light has been transformed into a tomb of darkness, but that will not last long.  Our hearts break but soon the light will shine again, if the light stops shining then the enemy wins, and we simply cannot let that happen.

I ask all of you who might read this to join me as I try to find the words of prayer to pray for the victims and all of those involved in this heinous act.

Peace between neighbors, peace between kindred, peace between lovers, in love of the King of Life.

Peace between person and person, Peace between wife and husband, Peace between woman and children, the peace of Christ above all peace.

Bless, O Christ, my face, let my face bless everything; bless, O Christ, mine eye, let mine eye bless all it sees.

Celtic Prayer for Peace, Carmina Gadelica

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