Let’s Not Forget Charleston: “The Heavenly Cloud of Nine Witnesses” Are Calling for “Action-Oriented Sympathy”


Charleston NineThis evening I inhale the gift of celestial grace bestowed upon the nine members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church: Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Clementa C. Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson.

The devil-driven gunman who killed these nine members of the celestial community of God “. . . wanted to start a race war, but he came to the wrong place.” He thought he was on a killing spree; however, his diabolic action compelled God to introduce the world to a “Cloud of [Heavenly] Witnesses” and an earthly congregational symbol of what it means to understand the concept of forgiving one’s enemies.

Yet, as I pray for the families of the members of the church gunned down because of the biological gift given to them by God—brown skin and the cultural contract constructed as a result of their beautiful brown complexions, I find myself screaming—Listen!

Racist Thugs LISTEN! I tell you what you know about yourself: You are plagued with the illness of racism. The racism you carry within you is a noose around your heart. Each time you think a racist thought, condone or involve yourself in an act of racism, you are committing your own death.

Indeed, the list of thug-minded racists seems long; however, it includes one personality type—a deeply wounded devil driven mind influenced by a history imbued by a racism that has been allowed to seep into the veins of the devil driven racists’ intent on living in the diabolic consciousness of hate and death.

They tell me before the devil-driven gunmen (that is his name and it does not need capitalization) began his killing spree, he sat with the members of the family of God at the table of prayer and heavenly contemplation. I can imagine the saints of God even prayed for this hate filled devil-driven gunman. Although the saints around the table were not the people who created his festering hate, they are the ones who suffered from it. I can imagine they prayed for him as he shot them–as one, by one, they went to sleep in the Lord.

I shall continue to pray for the families of the “Cloud of Heavenly Witnesses.” I shall also pray for the devil-driven gunman as he is, if he has an ounce of humanity flowing through him, rehearsing South Carolina’s law concerning those who plan and execute the deaths of other human beings.

I hope American leaders understand the desperate need for an action driven plan to heal the racists. Let me repeat myself. America needs to shut down for a day and create an action plan that would include an analysis of thoughts on race, the physical and social implications of race on the African American and European Americans, and the generational impact of Slavery on the European American psyche. There also needs to be a plan to shut down every hate-filled, devil driven organization promoting racism and the hate that it fosters.

God has allowed the “Celestial Witnesses” to take their rest. They have done their work in this earthly vineyard. On the last day of their lives they labored painfully in the vineyard. Let us follow the mandate of President Obama. We need “action-oriented” sympathy!

Make a commitment to do one thing, just one, to end the culture of violence and racism plaguing America.


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