What We Can Learn From The Mother Emanuel AME Church Shooting
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Politics and Activism

What We Can Learn From The Mother Emanuel AME Church Shooting

There is power in forgiveness.

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What We Can Learn From The Mother Emanuel AME Church Shooting

Being born and raised in the south, West Alabama to be exact, I was constantly surrounded by southern belles that didn’t mind getting a little dirt under their nails and church mothers whose Sunday hats matched the buttons on the Sunday suit and the buttons matched the embellishments on the Sunday shoes.

Men were hard-working, and when it came to Sunday service, they came just as “casket sharp” as the southern belles.

Adding ma’am and sir after the end of a response was the highest form of respect for a southern-raised child to give.

“God bless you” is automatic after every sneeze, and “Bless your heart” just shows that good southern hospitality.

But where was the hospitality and respect this past week when the confederate flag was a trending topic and members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church were buried?

In the midst of the tragedy and triumph throughout the country this week, we southern folks needed to have a personal “come to Jesus meeting,” another phrase prominent in the south among “good” Christian folk.

Something the whole nation can learn from the survivors and church members of Emanuel AME Church, commonly referred to as Mother Emanuel of Charleston, South Carolina, is forgiveness, peace, and love during turmoil.

A house of worship is a place where the lost come for refuge, the broken come for comfort, the sick come for healing, and sinners come for forgiveness, not a place where innocent worshippers' lives are taken.

After nine devoted church members were shot and killed in their safe haven of worship, especially after everything that has happened in the country over the past few years, I’m sure people thought, “It’s time for another session of protesting, rioting, and looting.”

Instead, Mother Emanuel AME Church members have displayed grace, class, resilience, and forgiveness.

Out-of-town protesters tried to disturb a memorial service, but no Charleston residents attempted to protest.

This notion says that the members of the church know who vengeance belongs to. There is no need to retaliate when God holds the ultimate fate of the murderer.

When the killer came into Mother Emanuel, those gathered for Bible study did not have any hatred or malicious intent toward him. He even worshipped and studied with them an hour before opening fire. This shows that the members of the oldest AME church in the south do not care who you are or what color your skin is.

The members of Mother Emanuel simply loved thy neighbor as they loved themselves, and they were only spreading the good news of Christ.

The man who sought out on the killing spree that Wednesday night has already been forgiven by the loved ones of the victims.

The people were able to forgive him before he has been convicted of the crime and even without him offering an apology. This shows unwavering, unconditional love.

As the United States begins a new journey debating about same-sex marriage and makes decisions about the fate of the confederate flag, just remember that when things don’t go according to your beliefs, vengeance is not yours, it is the Lord's.

If someone wrongs you, simply forgive them. If the members of Mother Emanuel AME church can showcase those qualities after all they have been through, we can too!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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