These are the names of the people killed in the Charleston Church Shooting.
Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, 54, a bible study member
Susie Jackson, 87, a bible study member
Ethel Lee Lance, 70, a 30-year church Sexton
Depayne Middleton, 49, a bible study member
Clementa C. Pinckney, 41, church pastor and South Carolina State Senator
Myra Thompson, 59, a bible study member
Tywanza Sanders, 26, a bible study member and 2014 college graduate
Daniel Simmons, 74, a reverend at the church.
Sharonda Singleton, 45, a reverend at the church
Nine creations of the Living God killed together in a church by an agent of the Devil.
There are many secular ways of describing the horror at the Charleston AME Church but that is what happened in the reality of spiritual warfare.
A twenty-one-year old misfit with a Moe Howard haircut took the lives of nine Christians at prayer without raising his heartbeat. His personal demons engaged no doubt by the satanic minions of right wing radio.
I do not want to pray that Dylann Storm Roof has a repentant awakening. A wretched confession of the horror he caused in the lives of those he killed and the lives of the hundreds left mourning. I don’t. But it is in fact our Christian duty to pray for his repentance and conversion.
Prayer is sacred and this is a blog post. So I do not offer this as prayer, but as the words that come to mind while watching a deep sadness seep into our country. It is addressed to The Shepard, because it is to Him we go when storms threaten.
Dear Jesus pour out your Grace on us, and bring your Healing presence to the grieving families of the Charleston murders. Please dear Merciful God, bring your light and healing to all injured by racial hatred in this country and around your world. Let us see each other as you see us, as glorious children of the Father. Bring us the wisdom to find our true identities as brothers and sisters in Christ.
You see us looking up at the sky expectantly when we are at the end of hope. Look down at America, Sweet Lamb of God, at the cities and towns, country lanes and strip malls. Look down and see the millions of faithful, in all the shades of Your creation, looking up desperately for you.
If I must pray that you forgive Dylann Roof may I at least hold it mind that You will confront him with every dark thought, every bone-weary day, every moment of irreplaceable loss his murderous act left behind? Will you show him the enormous hole left in the world by those deaths? Will you sear into him every moment of the pain he caused?
Dear Jesus, especially now, bring us the wisdom to see You in every face, We are desperate for racial healing in the very church You gave us. Bring your Love and Justice. Come Lord Jesus–come soon!