South Carolina is my home state, Charleston a place where my family lives and where I lived for two years and visited for many more.
But honestly, none of that matters. When a horror like the #CharlestonShooting takes place, it takes place in the backyard of America. It happens to all of us.
I always try to work through things with written expression … sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Yesterday I tried, and decided to post those thoughts on Facebook. My heart aches for the families, for their communities, for my home state and for the country that I deeply love. I am praying for them.
Charleston was not a “wake-up call.” We get one of those every day in this country.
From Facebook yesterday:
On days like today–and nights like last night–all I want to do is to cocoon my loved ones; to cover translucent skin and to hide from a world that has once again become too much to take–a world to which I can’t imagine offering up my daughters. What happened in Charleston, what happened in Newtown, and what happens every day in this country we love–the country we call great–can’t be unspeakable. We have to speak about it. More than that, we have to talk to and with each other about the hard nuances, the history, the politics, the religion, the things we don’t want to to think about and don’t want to believe can be true. We have to stay open, to lead with love even when every fiber of every fear in us screams that we should just shut up. We can’t shake our heads and throw up our hands, questioning, “What is the world coming to?” This is our world. This is our country, our region, our state, our backyard community. This is the real and the now. Addressing the violence in Charleston and elsewhere with more vitriol–whether it’s the violent use of firearms or violent, poisonous rhetoric–has no place here. It is an evil sort of uselessness, and it’s not worthy of any of us. We have to lead with the brightest, fiercest love. We have to shed the crusty, calloused skins we all live in and to be brave enough to admit that facing–and eradicating–the soulless violence in this country is going to take all of us.