Dear Mother Emanuel:
You, who authored courageous slave rebellions, who suffered and survived wretched bigotry, burnings and earthquake,
You, you who worshipped underground when black churches were outlawed …
Dear Mother Emanuel, in this day of grievous heartache we wrap you in bands of prayer.
We pour out upon your broken hearts the healing balm of Gilead.
You, whose shepherd has been taken from you,
whose building has become a tomb,
whose children are terrified:
We stand with you.
We weep with you.
We rage for you.
We keep vigil with you for your beloved dead.
May the God of Moses and Miriam, of Jesus and the Mary’s,
anoint you with healing, furnish you with hope and,
one day, some day, mend your torn hearts and wipe the tears from your swollen eyes.
God help us.
Nancy S. Taylor is the Senior Minister of Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts.