"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." --
It is such a rare act that most do not know how to respond, except in stunned silence. Relatives of the nine people murdered while attending a Bible study and prayer meeting at
In violent streets we have become used to calls for retribution, appeals for justice, rioting, looting, marches and self-appointed civil rights leaders hogging cameras and microphones with angry people standing behind them and chants of "no justice, no peace."
But this; this act of forgiveness by grandsons and sons, daughters, husbands and other relatives of the dead is so out of character, so distant from the "norm" we have come to expect, so not
Preachers call it "grace," which they define as "unmerited favor." The accused killer doesn't deserve it, but he is offered forgiveness nonetheless. It speaks volumes about the character and spiritual strength of those extending grace to him. In a normal person, grace might bring repentance and, yes, salvation, which is what at least one of the relatives said she was praying would happen to
When the world sees such acts of kindness, it doesn't know what to say. For many it is unfamiliar territory. And yet it is precisely the outworking of what those in that prayer meeting found in the Bible they were studying and the God to whom they prayed. It is a part of the nonviolence taught and practiced by Dr.
Pictures of church services following the killings showed a racial diversity and a coming together that might not just heal
"Amazing Grace" is a hymn sung in churches, at funerals and on other occasions. It is familiar even to those who are not regular churchgoers and may not fully appreciate its meaning. The author,
"Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see."
Those sweet people who unknowingly but graciously welcomed