Did you hear the comments of any of the family members of those who died in Charleston? They were given the opportunity of speaking to the accused shooter at the bond hearing, and without exception, they said, “I forgive you.” One even went so far as to encourage the young defendant to turn to Jesus Christ and accept his forgiveness and salvation.
These were real people under real stress dealing with real loss. And when it was their turn to speak, they responded. They didn’t react. Their lives spoke volumes through the few words that each had to say. I forgive you. The same words they had heard Jesus say to them.
You know the analogy of the tea bag and the tea cup? You never know what’s inside until immersed in hot water. These Charlestonians, these Christians, showed us all—not just the accused—what was inside, and it was all Jesus. They were quoting Jesus and responding to what he had done for them.
They knew that to whom much is given, of him shall much be required. Can we, will we pass that test?
Father, wrap your arms of love around those precious people who’ve showed us your love and forgiveness. Comfort them and use their strong witness to grieving hearts around the world. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.