I’ve tried several times over the past two days to put words to what I’m feeling about the tragedy in Charleston, and I just can’t. I simply have questions and more questions. What a senseless, heartless act of violence. When will it stop? And when will the escalation of violence, the fanning of the flames by people who refuse to listen to each other stop? When will hashtags be replaced by people with differences getting in a room together to see that perhaps they’re not nearly as different as they thought? When will people stop shouting past each other? When will people lay aside their pride and their prejudice and self-righteousness to do some serious soul-searching and to seek the whole truth, full justice, in love and peace and respect for the fact that all people are of sacred worth and deserve to be loved and cherished as such? How can people be raised up with enough hatred for other human beings that things like this would happen over and over and over again? When? Why? How?

I don’t have answers, just questions. But I know that the love of God is bigger than all of this. Love extinguishes hate. Love is stronger than death. Love wins in the end. And so I pray for my brothers and sisters in Charleston and their families, that in the coming days and weeks and months and years they might be surrounded by love. And I pray that as followers of Jesus respond to this, that every word, every post, every action might be motivated by God’s love above all other forces.

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