Thousands form ‘Bridge to Peace’ Unity Chain to honor church shooting victims
The Ravenel bridge is one of many sites that has been on our vacation “to see” list since we initially considered a Summer trip to Charleston. We’ve contemplated and planned and anticipated the trip for months, excited to study the wonderful architecture, stroll the historic streets, visit the beautiful gardens, bask on the warm beaches, and tour the many historic homes, churches, and Civil War sites. When news of the tragic church shooting exploded all over the media, there were so many analytical and emotional responses expressed nationwide: hurt, disbelief, anger, sadness, blame, hatred. It was difficult to fathom how widespread the ripple effect of the pain caused by this tragic loss of life would be. It was a senseless loss of brothers and sisters who had been walking in faith, worshiping, and praying…believers who had been welcoming and vulnerable in the face of hatred and evil. Sadly and selfishly however, somewhere beneath my initial expressions of grief and outrage simmered shallow, lurking questions: What will this mean for our visit? Will there be protests in the streets? Will we be looked upon with suspicion or resentment? Will there be danger?
Then thousands of hands, hearts, and voices stood together, walked the Ravenel bridge, and stood in unity, in grief, in hope. What the enemy had intended for hate, hurt, and death transformed into love, hope, forgiveness, and life.
The betrayed and wounded painted a picture of grace and forgiveness. The hurt became the healers. In walking the bridge, they built a bridge.
In the literal sense, it would be impossible to travel our great nation without the many bridges spanning the mountains, valleys, and rivers. What a great idea: build a way across chasms, gorges, rivers, and roadways! Pretty amazing really: architectural marvels and works of art at the same time! Someone dreamed, someone crafted, and they became reality.
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