As everyone is aware, from the bombardment of Instagram posts featuring first dances and throwbacks, today is Fathers day. I am blessed with a Daddy who has taught me about Clemson football, the love of line and buildings and the importance of a budget that a try very hard to keep. My earthly Dad has taught me what true, selfless love is so that I can better grasp the never ending, all encompassing love and mercy of my Heavenly Father.
Today though I did not get to spend a delicious lunch with my Dad feasting on barbecue, instead I am in South Carolina, the state that is on every news network and who fronts the topics for every talking head. Yes, it was a tragedy, but so much so that I honestly could not grasp it and pushed it of my mind. I did not understand, nor did I want to understand why someone would hurt people and a community that I love. Charleston is the place that I have vacationed every summer for my entire life. It is a city rich with culture, history, good food and beautiful people. So why?! Why was this happening to my favorite place?
I decided to just not think about it after scrolling through my Newsfeed and seeing all my friends from Charleston heartbroken and my strong African American friends yet again upset and hurt from the brokenness of society that creates divisive racism.
Too hard. Nope I did not want to think about it.
That was Thursday.
And that brings me to Today, the Lord's day; when we file into our Homes, our safe places, our churches.
We talked about the Prodigal Son today and about the hardship of returning to our past after mistakes. I could not help thinking about those at Emmanuel AME returning to their Home, and how hard it was going to be to face those slightly more empty pews on Father's day after so many strong earthly Dads and Moms had been ripped from their hugs.
After my Mema's passing I did not return to my home pew for three months. It was too hard to face that void. Today, just three days after tragedy struck, the Emmanuel AME congregation is being so brave and is returning to their sanctuary. They are facing the void, the pain and the broken pieces just three days after their world was overturned and the rest of the world began watching to see what would happen. All eyes are on them. The Charleston community, but especially the Emmanuel AME congregation is showing their true selves, their bravery, their strength. They are facing a tragedy the best way possible, together. They are not making the issues more divisive instead they are shining a light on the unending love of the Father that can take brokenness and make something whole.
All these pieces