On Saturday, June 13, 2015, a large number of South Carolinians, from various racial, ethnic and language backgrounds, gathered in Charleston for ‘The Response’. This was a time for prayer, worship, and praise directed to Jesus, the Redeemer of our soul, and Almighty God, our heavenly Father, seeking healing for our land and among people.
I will not call this a ‘senseless tragedy,’ even though it is. For it is much more than that. It is not just the snuffing out of lives precious to God, though it is that. This was a targeted attack!
Satan generally works in the background. But when his arrogance gets the best of him, when he gets really riled by the unified prayers of the saints, history has proven he will show himself. The young man who perpetrated this attack doubtless had little understanding of the depth of evil consuming him, driving him to carry out this attack.
One thing we can be sure of – it did not just happen. Were we able to replay the perpetrator’s life we would find his worldview steeped in secular humanism – denying there is a God or any absolutes of morality. A perfect nursery for the Enemy to plant evil ideas. It is unlikely he was nurtured in Christian love by his two parents as a small child. With all that as a foundation he was wide open to adopting a racist mindset, ready for the enemy’s nudge over the line.
But what of the ones whose lives were taken? What of the potential therein, lost to this world? What of the example of reconciliation, the community healing and the lives turned around had they lived out their lives? The blood of martyrs screams to a dying culture –“In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”[Revelation 5:12 NIV] – just the opposite of the message Satan wants to send.
The only silver lining to a sin-darkened landscape – the one thing we can know with full assurance – these, our brothers and sisters, are rejoicing in the arms of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.