to gain or regain possession of (something)
in exchange for payment.
The cracking headlines late Wednesday evening introduced us all to Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina. The historically relevant church was instantly on the lips of Americans as we tried to sort out the tragic events that unfolded in this sacred space. Nine dead. Executed during a weekly Bible Study.
The reported reason?
The suspect wanted to “start a race war.”
I felt powerless to do anything. I grieved. Hopeless at my inability to fix what is so tragically shattered in our world I honestly wondered if any one or any thing could make things better.
Then – I watched the arraignment – as family member after family member spoke to the suspect, representing the victims.
I forgive you!
Confess, turn to Christ – he can change you – and you will be okay.
a survivor who watched her son die, covered in his blood:
Every fiber in my body hurts – I will never be the same –
we welcomed you – may God have mercy on you…
I’m a work in progress and I’m very angry –
but my sister taught us that we are a family that love built
and we have no room for hate – so I have to forgive you…
These victims died at the hands of hate but everyone here
offering forgiveness to you is proof that their legacy is love –
hate won’t win.
The nation caught a glimpse of true heroes today. Brave people who stood up, not allowing darkness to dictate. Broken people, refusing to allow tragedy to determine destiny. Protecting the legacy of the innocent by loving the guilty.
This young man may well have wanted to start a race war, but we bore witness today of beautiful, broken people willing to stand up and say, “No. Not on our watch.”
Redemption is taking the ashes of horror – and trading it for beauty.
That is God Work. Forging a future and a hope from tragedy and loss. So much bigger than us – yet it calls us – wooing us to partake in the healing. Whispering to our souls to be a part of God Work.
There is a time for weeping and grieving and mourning and anger –
but in the end we have to hold on to the Spirit that these families are painfully,
bit by precious bit, living before us and remember: Love wins.