The Real Tragedy in Charleston

19 06 2015

Very few of us have been spared the sorrow of facing loss. I found it so incredibly sad today as I watched the families of those whose loved ones were so heartlessly massacred inside a church building during a Bible study as they struggled to understand the senseless killings. And yet, there they were, in the courtroom, speaking with such love of those who were killed, and then saying to the young man who took those lives, I forgive you.

Wow. And then the statement made later that we should be focusing on the family of the young man and the families of those who lost loved ones and not focus on the perpetrator. To hold in prayer the families involved in the tragedy, both sides of the families (please note here the compassion being shown the Roof family as well as the families of those killed).

I’ve thought about this a lot since this shooting occurred. Obviously, Dylann Roof was mentally ill. He admitted to having second thoughts about what he was about to do because “they were so nice to me.” But it makes me wonder what the real issue is in this situation as in so many others in recent months. Are we focusing on the wrong thing? Gun control is always the topic that comes to the forefront. We need more gun control. No, we need to allow people to carry guns.

My thought is this: maybe we need to do less about the whole gun issue and much more about teaching the value of life to our young people. Maybe we need to tell them that each person out there has a life that matters, has a family who loves them, has a purpose in his/her life, has a right to live that life, is a sacred being. Respect, inclusion, honoring God’s creation, agreeing to disagree, allowing for differences—isn’t that what life should be all about?

How boring it would be if we all agreed about everything. Differing opinions allow us to expand our horizons, learn to see other sides of a situation, teach us that maybe, just maybe, we aren’t always right. And differences add color and depth to our lives. And leave blame at the front door. And differences don’t kill someone for being different.

Well, that’s how I see it. God bless and comfort all those families. Maybe, especially, the Roofs.

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