Love, The Greatest of These is Love
Last summer, the first vacation my husband and I had planned without our children was to be a new adventure for us. Being empty nesters, we thought we would take a driving tour of two iconic destinations – Asheville, NC and Charleston, SC. It was to be my second visit to Asheville, but my first to Charleston. I was so looking forward to seeing the places I had read and heard about for so many years. On the second night of our stay in Charleston, we had driven over to Isle of Palms to meet some family members for a boat ride. As we came back into Charleston that night, we were met with police cars and helicopters on almost every street. It took some time before we made it back to our hotel parking garage, since the road in front was closed and lined with ambulances. Little did we know, that a horrific event had just occurred around the corner. Once we learned of the tragic shooting at the Mother Emanuel CME Church, we understood why families were filing into the conference rooms at our hotel. Sadly, they were joining other families to learn the fate of their loved ones. We stayed glued to the television the rest of the night and sadly learning the truth. Never could we have imagined someone acting with such hate for other human beings. Over the next few days, we were very shocked and sad to learn of the gruesome details of the shootings and the precious lives that were lost. But we also learned of the great strength, christian love and forgiveness of the family members. We were deeply moved by the actions of the community as they came together to uplift their fellow citizens during such a life changing event.
All these memories came flooding back as the news agencies reported yesterday of another tragic event. My mind can not comprehend how someone can carry such hate in their hearts to commit such a horrific act. I at least can cling to the stories that are beginning to be told of the love that is being offered to the victims by the Orlando/Orange County citizens. This community, I hope, will rally around these families and comfort them, as the healing process will begin.
I will continue to pray for the victims, their families and this community as they try to heal and recover. I hope that we will not become immune to such violent acts in our world. I will also pray for our country and ask God to guide us to be more loving to all people. It’s when we can love each other and root out evil, that these events will not occur.