I feel the way Jesus did in the Book of John as he wept when he saw Mary and Martha mourning over the death of Lazarus. He didn’t weep over the actual death because he knew that he’d see him again in Paradise, but he wept as a sign of empathy to his friends.
That’s how I felt as I stumbled across Facebook on Thursday and read about what happened in Charleston, South Carolina the night before. I didn’t weep out of fear, but out of compassion to those victims of Emanuel AME Church and Dylann Roof. I couldn’t image what that feels like on both ends of the story, but it’s great to know there is a God who knows even when we can’t figure it out.
My heart goes out to Emanuel AME. My heart also goes out to Dylann Roof. By no means am I condoning his actions of entering into a place of worship and killing innocent people, but what I see is another human regardless of race, in need of God’s mercy as we all do.
I pray that one day he’s able to experience the salvation of Jesus Christ that’s made available to all people, and that he’s able to enter the Kingdom of God as I aspire to.
Many citizens across the United States lost their faith this week. I read tweets like, “If God is real, why didn’t he save those people?” or “Why does it seem like God allows bad things to happen? Why doesn’t God step in and take control over situations like this? People were in a church praying, and innocent lives are gone. Why?”
My friends, God never promised a life free from suffering. There will come times when we’ll be put in situations to fight for our faith even unto death, but when we are persecuted, there is a greater reward. Our treasure isn’t stored here on Earth, but in Heaven with our Creator.
Above the turmoil and pain, one thing I do know is that love heals. Not the relational “love” or the type of affection you’d show your girlfriend, but the agape love that Jesus showed. The selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love that the Bible mentions.
Love people. Love without regrets. Love freely. Love is the only thing that will last.
It’s a lot going on in the world today, but through Christ, we have the victory.
Torian McKenzie is a resident of Richmond County and a contributor to the Daily Journal.