Contagious Love - Thank you, Charleston, SC

"The love is out there.  Now let it RISE UP.  Let LOVE be more contagious than the hurt.  Let LOVE be more recognizable than the evil of our times."

I wrote that a few months ago with the prayer that the community of Baltimore might find peace.

I wrote it knowing that this side of heaven is going to walk us through great struggles.

What I didn't know is that one of the most shocking ones would make its way to us so quickly.

Upon hearing the news of this massacre in Charleston, we collectively crumbled to our knees as a nation....

Because.  This. Cannot.  Happen.

Lord, please tell us that this didn't happen.

Such sacred ground.

Such futility.

Such evil.

We just can't comprehend it.

But it did happen.

It did.

And we don't know what to do with the fact that such evil exists in our world...

But Charleston, SC knew exactly what to do with it.

They summoned up more love than I could have ever hoped for in the face of such loss.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.  1 Cor. 13

They showed the closest thing to perfect love that I've ever seen on earth (outside of that of my Jesus, of course).

I've often said that having a child helped me to understand just a small glimpse of how God might feel about us. These boys are my whole heart.

I would give my life for them, but I guarantee you on any given day that I would not give THEIR life for anyone else's.

I can't fathom it.

But my Father in Heaven did just that through Jesus on the cross... and then He forgave ME for being the reason it had to happen.

I'm undone by that.  Completely undone by the scandalous nature of grace that pardons a wreck like me.

I'm undone by the people of Charleston, South Carolina, also.  The most soul-stirring, heart-breaking, faith-affirming, and completely raw ministers of grace live there.

Thank you, Charleston.  Thank you for being LOVE.

Thank you for shaking this country to our core with forgiveness that the rest of us struggled with, but to which you never blinked an eye and so freely gave.

Thank you for setting the example of how to walk this out like God himself.

I won't ever hear someone sing "7 x 70 times" again without thinking of you all.

I won't ever teach my children about turning the other cheek without thinking of how you have done so in a manner that I can't quite even settle in my spirit just yet.

Over and over and over.  I keep saying the name of Jesus on your behalf.

I hope you feel it.

I hope you know that your forgiveness given in the middle of this atrocity... that forgiveness MEANS something.

I pray that you know their lives meant everything.

I pray you know that in the midst of indescribable hurt, you have allowed God to start the Romans 8:28 part of this simply because YOU were willing to forgive.

It's my heart that you see lives that are different because of your faith walk, Charleston, SC.

The country is watching as you are the epitome of salt and light.

We are  believing for YOUR healing, too.

So, I pray that you feel held.  Today and forever.

In the gap, thank you for leading our country in the most beautiful way.

You have taught the greatest lesson to a nation that desperately needs healing, and you taught it from a place of deep pain.

Your example reminds me over and over again that our Redeemer lives.

Thank you, Charleston.  Thank you.  You have redefined love in a way that can only be explained by a belief in the One True King.  Evil does not reign.  No, not at all.

A nation now looks to your corner of the world and wants the contagious love you've displayed.  We want to live like that.

Thank you for not changing your faith walk in the light of great pain.  Thank you for being real.

Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken. All rights reserved.


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