Editorial: A prayer for Charleston and the world
As we mourn the victims of a senseless act of violence, born out of hate, in Charleston, S.C., our prayers echo that of Bobby Green Jr., minister for the Charleston Metropolitan Church of Christ.
We present excerpts of his prayer below, and we also offer these words on behalf of our brothers and sisters in northern Nigeria and the victims of hatred worldwide.
A prayer/poem for the Charleston Massacre
By Bobby Green Jr.
To the God who made one human race from the dust of the ground, who made us after his image that we might reflect his nature. And that we might reflect his character.
We come to you with a mind that is confused, and a heart that has been broken, in a tongue that is laboring to give birth to words and emotions, too powerful to be constrained by our impotent vocabulary, so we cry and we stomp and we tremble, hoping you hear us.
Again Father our national conscience has been pricked by the angry bullets of hate. And the blood of the victims, and the tears of their families, and prayers of this city and nation cry out to you in humility.
We beg you for your wisdom, for we too often do not know where to go or how to get there. We beg you for your courage, because we too often allow our fear to paralyze us from doing what is right. We beg you for your mercy, for we too often turn back from what we set out to do.
We pray for the families of these victims whose loved ones were slain in cold blood, that your healing love will keep their hearts from becoming frozen by the pain of bitterness and resentment.
We pray for these families, that you will comfort them in the middle of their pain and give them the resolve to continue
when they will be so tempted to give up.
We pray for the shooter that his heart will soften, that he will repent and seek forgiveness.
We pray for the family of the shooter, that we might have mercy upon them.
Give our country strength, Give our city strength, that though we may look out into a sea of despair we may see an island of hope on which is built a mountain of faith with a peak that will break up the stormy dark clouds of doubt.
We pray for Charleston that you might help our city to live up to its “Holy” name.
We pray that our city will not allow the departure of these men and women from this life be in vain.
We pray that this tragedy will serve as another wake up call to not only wake up this city, but to wake up this country from a racist nightmare of indifference.
Help us not to push the snooze button and continue to sleep, ignoring the alarms of our national conscience. But that we will wake up because its time get up and soberly face the struggles before us and continue work at solving that great problem that has baffled men and women since the birth of this nation and that is, “How do we live together, peacefully and righteously in spite of our differences?”
Help us work on this problem together! Because many hands make the work light.
Help us work together! Because the problem is too big for any one person or ethnic group alone to fix.
Help us work together! Because the humanity that unites us is stronger than the perspectives that divide us.
Help us to lean on you! Because at the root of all evil whether passive or purposeful is a sinful heart that can only be cleansed and strengthened
by the blood of your Son.