PicturePhoto Courtesy: www.thestate.com
I was born and raised a Texan. I’ve always felt in my heart that true sense of “pride” that only belonged to Texas. But for 10 years now, I’ve lived in South Carolina — a state that is lovely with it’s true Southern Charm, gorgeous coastline beaches, panoramic mountain vistas, and delicious sweet tea. I love living here, yet I have never truly called this place “home”. 

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thereafter, the Confederate flag finally came down from it’s perch at the Statehouse — a move that signified this state no longer represents the racial and cultural hatred that is a part of its history, a hatred that very clearly contributed to the Charleston shootings.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.

PictureThe Donations in Greenville pour in!
Then, this past week, we experienced a 1000 Year Flood after Hurricane Joaquin spit back out to sea and aimed it’s water hose directly at South Carolina. The State Capital, Columbia, was literally swallowed up in a sea of water overnight that no forecaster could even predict. While Federal Aid has arrived, it’s the amount of donations and help from the citizens of neighboring towns and communities that has truly saved the day. The donations have been more than enough to handle the crisis. Volunteers have organized lightening quick to create a system of rescue, shelter, and relief that — quiet honestly — I’ve never seen before. The efficiency with which the operations are proceeding means people are quickly getting help, and the loss of life has remained at a minimum. Here in Greenville, where I live, the relief efforts by churches, insurance agencies, sheriff’s office, workout groups, businesses, mom’s groups, schools, neighborhoods, etc… have been overwhelming. When I jumped in to help collect donations, I was simply in awe of how quickly members of this community mobilized. No time was wasted. 

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. 

While the rest of the world outwardly seems to be going to Hell in a hand basket, I believe what South Carolina has illustrated this past year is a sign of our true potential. South Carolina has set a shining example of what it means to shine a LIGHT for others. The formula is so simple. There’s no need to complicate the equation. What if others could see what has happened here and be inspired to take this same approach into their own communities and governments?  What could become of this great nation, if only?

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. 

 


Comments

Cleta Allen
10/09/2015 9:39pm

Keep letting your light shine...my Awsome Jane's April.
Gifted!

10/12/2015 6:23pm

Thank you Cleta Ruth! So happy you found me here :)


Comments are closed.

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