By Liz Hendricks

shootingAs I walked into my church this morning I found myself apprehensive. I scanned the crowd looking for any sign of possible danger. This is my sanctuary—this is my place of peace—this is my home. I felt anger welling up in my soul. Not only did Dyllan Roof murder nine saints in Charleston, he instilled a sense of fear in me—-fear for every person, white, black, brown, old young, rich, poor, educated, uneducated entering a church building this morning.

As we began to sing our first hymn I became even more angry—this time with God.

“ O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, to every believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives. “

How could Jesus EVER forgive this person. I don’t want to spend eternity with Dyllan Roof.
“In Christ alone my hope is found,

He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.”

We were then asked to get on our knees and pray for Charleston.
As tears flowed freely down my cheeks my anger turned to hope—-my hope turned into faith—my faith turned into prayer.

“Sweet Jesus,
Please use Charleston to show the world Your Love. Help those affected personally heal and forgive. May the rest of us learn that every man, woman, and child is precious in Your sight. May what was said in that church and heard by Dyllan before his heinous crime permeate his soul. May he turn to You and find the peace that You promise.

I pray You will use this tragedy to unite all people to one cause—-
“Faith of our fathers, we will strive
To win all nations unto thee;

And through the truth that comes from God, We all shall then be truly free.”

Amen