Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to stand inside the stunningly beautiful and historic Mother Emanuel AME church where the massacre occurred in Charleston, South Carolina. It is difficult to describe all of the emotions, thoughts, and feelings that overcame me during this brief visit.
The outpouring of love stood out above all though. You see, that's really what it's all about - love.
And you could feel it. A strong sense of love. Vibrant and resilient people exited the pews as we caught the end of a Sunday service. Church members in choir robes took turns greeting visitors and asking them to come back again. I can't imagine what it would feel like to experience such a horrific atrocity in such a safe and warm environment. Beyond that, I can't imagine welcoming visitors after being marked by one just a few weeks prior.
But love, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. And the truth is that love wins every single time.
Love wins when we acknowledge our differences, not deny them. Love wins when we start educating ourselves instead of remaining prideful and ignorant. Love wins when we recognize the bias in our own thoughts...and strive to change our way of thinking. Love wins when we truly understand that we all find our identity in being human.
"I know that my country was not made to be a land of hatred.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin.
People learn to hate.
They can be taught to love, for love comes more natural to the human heart."