Big Red Car here. There is an enormous ball of fire in the sky, toward the east. It is making people uncomfortable as we have grown used to our constant rain. I will keep you posted on this development as it is very odd.
It has stopped raining.
Charleston, designated by Southern Living some years ago as the friendliest and most hospitable city in the United States, was founded in 1670 and moved to Oyster Point shortly therafter. In Colonial times, it was the fifth largest city in the United States. It continues to be an important city.
Today it has about three quarters of a million people who live on the peninsula created by two rivers (the Ashley and the Cooper) and one of the greatest natural harbors on the east coast. It is a sea scented city and it joins the land and the ocean to the rest of the world. It is a great food city. It is Southern. Hospitality, food, Southern influence — perfectly delightful.
In 2014, Conde Nast’s readers anointed Charleston the second favorite city in the world for travelers. It was second to Florence, Italy but far in front of such places as Rome, Vienna, New Orleans (#17), Sydney, San Francisco (#20) and Kyoto. You can see the entire list here.
Charleston was the site of a horrific racial atrocity perpetrated by a young, disturbed man from Columbia. Columbia is inland, up the Interstate from Charleston. It is the capital of South Carolina and the home of the “other” Carolina, the South Carolina Gamecocks. There is a Confederate flag flying out its last few days in front of the state Capitol. Shortly, it will be coming down. Its time has come and gone. George Washington’s statue is in front of the Capitol steps. It, too, is a pretty city but it is the little sister to Charleston’s stunning beauty.
Charleston and Charlestonians have shown the world the meaning of calm under fire, aplomb in the face of adversity and a responsible attitude between and among people. It is an example so powerful to, literally, be Christlike. No riots. No violence.
Charleston is a city of churches. The atrocity took place in a church and Charleston has returned to its churches to heal their wounds, comfort one another and to pray. That is Charleston. That is Charlestonians. That is good triumphing over evil. That is the way forward.
If you doubt that there is evil in the world — look to Charleston. It was there.
If you doubt that there is undiluted goodness in the world — look to Charleston. It IS there.
This cruel crime — a man sits, freely invited and welcomed, in a Bible study class and then murders nine innocent classmembers — cannot be ignored nor should it be. It is a racial assault in the ugliest manner with absolutely no reasonable explanation as to its cause or why God let it happen.
The reaction of the mother who forgave the assailant — his name will never be mentioned by me — stands as a virtuous act of Biblical importance and proportions. Could you forgive someone who had just slaughtered your child? The answer for me is — NO. I am not that good a person. I would be consumed with hate and revenge.
Look to Charleston. Say a prayer for Charleston. They are praying for us. The world will hear those prayers and we will change. It will have started in the blood on the floor of a church in Charleston and its good people.