I’m a Pastor of the church of Jesus Christ. I love Her.
I’m a Godparent to a biracial little girl. I love her.
In light of the shooting in Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, what do I teach her abo
ut the Bride of Christ? What do I tell her?
Right now, she’s working on saying the letter ‘X,’ her vocal range in Twinkle Twinkle, and getting to the potty on time. But, when does the loss of innocence occur and reality set in?
Goddaughter, the Church is the Bride of Christ. She is a place of refuge and safety. She is sacred and holy. She is a tabernacle and a sanctuary. Within her walls, you can find rest, honesty, doubt, faith, love, mercy, and compassion.
Within the Church, you can encounter the Living God, the Holy and Compassionate One, the Spirit of God, the Image of the Invisible God, Emmanuel, God with you. She is a Holy Temple where God dwells. In diverse community, known as the Body of Christ, you can see a glimpse of God, the God of love.
You can worship the Creator of the Universe, read of the God who loved you so much He couldn’t stay away from you, experience reconciled relationships, pursue justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
Within her walls, you can find God. But within her walls, you can be killed by white people.
And as I type this tears stream down my face for this is not the message young children should know.
This is not the reality I want to share with her.
Jesus turned tables over when people turned the Temple, the House of Prayer, into a den of thieves. Can we turn some tables over when people have turned the Temple into a den of racism, guns, and murder?
How many black lives must end before we decide something needs to change?
How many mass shootings have to happen before we stand up for some logical gun control?
How much racism, white supremacy, hatred, and complicity until we make changes?
How long until we speak up, say “No more!”?
How much more injustice until we finally rise up to pursue justice?
Today, I’m not very hopeful.
Today, I’m angry.
Today, I grieve.
But today, I refuse to remain silent any longer.
Because, my goddaughter deserves the right to encounter God in the refuge and safety of the Church.