South Carolina has been in the news — a lot — this past year for a variety of Headline-worthy reasons; and in every instance, the people of this state have risen to the occasion with such dignity, grace, class, love, and faith.
When a madman shooter walked into a Charleston church bible study and killed nine innocent African-American victims, there were no riots or crazy #BlackLivesMatter marches. Instead, there was an almost immediate forgiveness and healing that took place. The people of this state relied on their faith and loving hearts, rather than inviting hatred and venom to take center stage in the News. Though the national media tried its damnedest, they could not beat an angle out of the people here. We would not allow the circus, and the media eventually went away.
Soon thereafter, the Confederate flag finally came down from it’s perch at the Statehouse — a move that signified this state no longer represents the racial and cultural hatred that is a part of its history, a hatred that very clearly contributed to the Charleston shootings. This removal of the flag signified to others, “We are more than just what history says we are. We are more than the color of our skin”. The removal of the Confederate flag occurred peacefully; months later, no one is even talking about this anymore. We did it. We moved on.
What if other cities, states, and nations could rise to the occasion like this when disaster or enemies strike? No riots, no complaining, no begging for government help, no airing dirty laundry to the media, no pointing fingers, no blaming, no shaming. Rather — praising the Lord who saved them, sharing precious water with others in need, bowing heads together in prayer, holding hands with one another, pulling each other to safety, giving thanks for the lives that were spared, rising up together in community, shining a LIGHT for others in the darkness.
All of this is to say I have fallen madly in love with South Carolina and the people here. I have sat in my car, loaded down with donations, and cried tears of joy because of the love and generosity I've witnessed in others. I believe South Carolina has shown the world what it is like to live as Christ expects of us. I am so proud to live in this great state — and call it my home.