I am thinking of adjectives to describe the city of Charleston’s reaction to the tragedy at Emanuel AME–ironic, astonishing, and graceful are words that come to mind.
Not far from where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, a city where many African Americans are descendants of slaves whose labor made their owners prosperous, in a region where the Confederate flag is still prominent, the members of Mother Emanuel showed the world how to walk in God’s grace. They set the tone, the example for us to follow. And Charleston, unlike other cities torn by racially motivated crimes and injustices, did not erupt in violence and protests.
The usual attention-grabbers who waste no time in getting to a microphone and in front of a camera to be seen and heard, to incite protests and promote their own agenda, have not been the faces and voices reflecting a nation’s reaction to the unbelievable horror inflicted upon a group of beautiful individuals gathered in God’s church to further spiritual growth–people who led spiritual, grace-filled lives, who cared for others, who made a difference.
What we have seen is Christian leadership at its best and Christian disciples being true disciples. We have seen what it means to walk in love.