We are appalled – but not enough.
We are grieved – but not enough.
We are fed up – but not enough.
Our hearts are breaking for the loss of those nine beautiful lives, nine of Your faithful children who were killed doing what You ask us to do – study and pray. So however appalled and grieved and fed up we are, You most be all those things to the millionth degree.
But God, I’m not sure our feelings are enough; I’m not sure my feelings are enough. I have spent the last day with tears in my eyes, learning the names of the dead, reading about their lives, reading about their church, and that is not enough. I have spent time learning about the hate in my own city’s past, about the exclusion this state used to practice, and I have listened to conversations by those who are displaced because their neighborhood suddenly becomes “desirable.”
And God, I’m not sure my knowledge is enough.
Please, Holy God, do not let us go back to the same-old same-old. Please do not let us mourn for a week or so, and sign some petitions, and shake our heads and cry, and then be done. Hold our feet to the fire, to the refiner’s fire. Let us not speak but listen, and when we are done listening, let us act. Do whatever You have to do to make us so outraged that Your children were gunned down in your house, make us so ashamed of our own complicity or inaction in matters of race, that we don’t sit and tsk-tsk anymore.
But what do we do, O God? Show me the way. Show us the way. Lead us out of this abyss we have gotten ourselves into.
And comfort the families of Reverend Clementa Pinckney, and Rev. Daniel Simmons, Sr., and Ethel Lance, and Cynthia Hurd, and Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson, and Tywanza Sanders, and Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, and Susie Jackson. And comfort the family of the shooter, because although I do not believe it, I think You would say that he is Your child too.