Yesterday I heard the news of the shooting.
Reverend DePayne Middleton-Doctor,
Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney,
Reverend Daniel Simmons Senior,
Reverend Sharonda Singletone,
Taken from their families, friends, communities, and from their places in your work around our Table. We grieve these losses as tremendous wounds in the body of Christ.
They came together to worship you, to bring you their spirits and their lives, to seek wisdom and guidance in the ways to come; They came together in your place of peace, in your sanctuary of hope to envision justice and healing; They came together to lift one another up, to “spur one another on” as your Word guides us to.
And in this place of peace, of wisdom, of carrying one another’s burdens, your believers – followers of Galatians 6:2 – were slaughtered worse than pigs as they obeyed your Word. Shot in the church while the shooter reloaded five times. As they were praying and studying your word they were shot and killed.
Your church is shaking now, with hearts that are broken and tears that can’t stop crying for your body has suffered a beating and we have been burned and battered. So we need you now Lorde, to cover us in the mercy that only you can touch us with. Give us the know-how and the resources to be grateful for the gifts that Cynthia, Suzie, Ethel, Rev. Depayne, Rev. Clemta, Tywanza, Rev. Daniel, Rev. Sharonda, and Myra gave to us.
Show us how to love our sisters and brothers in Charleston right now. Be with the children of those who died. Be with the partners of those who were shot. Be with the siblings of those who were killed. Be with the mothers and the fathers of those who were murdered in your AME Charleston house yesterday night. May you give them visions of your peace and a soul-belief in your justice.
We are tired, Lorde, of these cries being unanswered. We are tired of taking yet another punch in the gut of your Body and we mourn in this pain for your promises that have yet to be. We want them now and exasperation and rage have taken a front seat. So guide us now in your all-seeing ways.
Give good sleep and good food and wise words to the churches of Charleston today.
May your ways be known to all. Show us your paths and open the ears and hearts to hear your rage at this pain that Charleston and the global church is reeling in right now.
So that we may walk in the promised land,