God has an amazing ability to take a horrible tragedy and turn it into something beautiful.

I remember what this country looked like on the morning of September 12, 2001.  We were united.  There were no political parties, no races, no divisions at all.  We were all Americans.  I heard older generations compare that terrorist attack to our generations “Pearl Harbor” and I can imagine what they meant.  It was a horrible attack that united a divided nation into truly “One Nation under God.”

There have been countless natural disasters that bring people together, forgetting their differences, being united it finding a way through the tragedy.

In the last week, our nation has been witness to a horrible tragedy that led to an amazing display of grace and love.  When a young man went in and shot up a church full of worshipers, our nation was stunned and shocked.  Some took this time to resort to the discuss of gun control and mental health… both are important but nothing compared to the love of Christ that has been shown by the loved ones of the victims.

Over the past week, I have been blown away at the number of stories coming out about the members of that church, too many to quote and reference here but if you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen your share.

They have been witness to a horrible crime.  They have lost loved ones to the senseless act of another person.  Yet in the midst of this horror, they have repeated said they forgive the killer.  They have not only said this, but have actually invited him in to be part of the Bible study any time.  They are welcoming him with open arms in a sign of ultimate love that few have the privilege of witnessing.

The truth is however, we all have that privilege.  When Jesus was hanging on the cross, he said of his torturers, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

In all these cases, God took an obviously horrible scene, and made beauty out of it.  He took what Satan meant for ill, and turned it into something that would lead to a beautiful act of love.

When you’re in the middle of struggle, it’s not always easy to see His love in the middle of it.  But I’m betting that nobody reading this today has face anything worse that those families in Charleston.  They found it in their heart to turn to Jesus and share His love.

My charge is that you do the same in whatever crisis you are facing.

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