At times in life, you just need to ‘tell a storm’:
Go away, My God surrounds me!
The killing of 9 members of the Mother Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015, by a racially-violent white man, was senseless and sad! As an African-American man born two years before the Birmingham Church bombing, I’m not sure which bothered me more, the racial hatred of the shooter or the place (a Charleston SC church) where he chose to kill the nine Black Bible Study participants. I published “The Christ is Right: Go Get Your Prize” on June 14th. After learning about the tragedy in SC 3 days later, I hit a ‘wall’. It wounded my desire to think and write ‘in the spirit’ for this blog.
To know that a massacre, reminiscent of the 1963 Birmingham Church bombing in Alabama, could still happen in 2015 deeply saddened me. That a white florist in Shelby NC took the bold actions (June 18th) which allowed the shooter to be promptly captured was very reassuring. I’m not sure if that would have happened 52 years ago. Moreover, 2 days after the SC shooting, seeing how forgiving the Black Christian families were to Dylann Roof was a pleasant surprise. While the Bible tells us to be forgiving, that’s easier said than done! In spite of these 2 facts, and the quickness with which Roof was captured, I still had this subtle but lingering bitter feeling that wouldn’t go away. The closest thing I can personally recall that felt similar was the feeling I got after the 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001.
- As a Christian, what do I do for God and my church? I’ve been a member of the Gospel Choir at my church since 2009. I’ve been blogging here on 66 Assurance Way since September 2013. These two things, along with the Dare to Work Ministry I founded at my church, are part of what I do as a Christian. They are part of my walk.
As God felt my pain, in the months after the mid-June church shooting, he crafted a way to deal with it. With my choir’s Anniversary just a few weeks ago, my fellow members and I had to learn 4 new songs. That involved 3 ½ hours of practice (!) on two days. Moreover, in preparation for a local missions convention, a choir, one made up of the members of all five church choirs, was assembled; we practiced once. Ironically, Blessed Assurance was one of the songs the Mass Choir practiced.
So, the ground work for the Lord’s plan was set. I can see God saying the following to himself:
Greg is not taking the killing of Mother Emanuel 9 in South Carolina well. I need to deliver a real big blessing to get him through this trial. 3 choir practices for two different choirs, in preparation for 2 singing events, will do the job! I need him back in my Christian blogging army. I can’t forsake him now.
I think my now you see where this story is going.
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