DEAR STRANGER, I’M SO SORRY

Charleston Shooting Hug

I was raised in the south where no one can argue that putting racism behind us has been quite a journey. Also, looking back in history no one can argue that progress has been made in this area. Maybe I’m just strange, but the recent shooting at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC has compelled me to express my deepest apology to many total strangers. Please allow me to explain.

No doubt, many hearts are heavy after a mentally disturbed white male opened fire and killed 9 precious souls. Now, God saw no color as he looked down on this event. But let’s be honest, most Americans were not as color blind. Due to media venues stirring racial tension, this event has deceived many into thinking we are still a world divided by the color of our skin.

Yes, there is still much that can improve when it comes to human equality and race relations. But, I’m in no way convinced that what that sick young man did reflects the majority of white Americans. In the same way, I’m convinced that just because a small percentage of black Americans commit crimes doesn’t mean their actions reflect the majority.

For example, a great church could have a few members that don’t reflect Christ in their everyday lives. Some great businesses could have a few employees that don’t refect their overall integrity. And someone raised in the best of families could do something that makes everyone in that family look bad. Does it mean that entire church, business, or family is terrible?

Well, this is not a time for debate. It is a time to pray for and love one another even deeper. I found myself just 24 hours after this mass church shooting approaching random African Americans. Keep in mind, none of them had I even seen before. Many I hugged. I told them that I was so sorry for what occurred in that church. I so much wanted them to know that most white Americans don’t think this way.

One black man, shed tears after our elevator ride together. All I did was give him a big hug. Then, I told him and his two boys that I was deeply sorry for what this young, sick man had done. I wanted him to know He was my brother in Christ and constantly in my prayers. You see, this man knew personally many who were a part of this church fellowship and all I could say was “I’m so sorry”.

I hate what happened. But I’ve already seen so much good come out of such a terrible situation. How moving are the pictures and video of black and white worshipping hand in hand. I believe this is a reflection of Heaven to come. In Heaven, there will be no color, no church denominations, no fights and no more heartache. There will only be souls that all said yes to Jesus praising God together forever and ever.

Revelation 21: 3-4 says, “He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

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