I have started to write about the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, numerous times. I type a paragraph or two, and I stop and delete it all.
The actions of Dylann Roof are incomprehensible to most people. We have all had feelings of anger that bordered on or even drifted into hatred, but who among us would consider shooting unarmed people who had only moments earlier welcomed us into their midst? It simply makes no sense.
I am brokenhearted over the whole thing. I grieve with my brothers and sisters who lost family members. I grieve over the young man whose heart was so dark and his mind so twisted that he could commit such a heinous act. I grieve for Roof’s family who must been drowning in guilt, shame, and sorrow.
I have tried to write about this many times, but each time I have yielded to overwhelming sorrow. I wanted to use this as a teaching moment. I wanted to find some way to communicate to the few who read this an insight into fallen human nature. I wanted to rail against the racism and hatred that still haunt our society. But each time I started, a new wave of sorrow would wash over me. My fingers who stop typing, and soon the screen would be empty again. And as I sat looking at the blinking cursor, I realized that this is not a moment to teach a lesson; it is a time to grieve.
Everyone feels like we need to say something to help make sense of what has happened. Perhaps the reality is that this is the time to be quiet and weep.