I had the privilege to travel to The Museum of the Bible for a special screening of the film Emanuel. Emanuel is the untold story of the victims and the survivors impacted by church shooting that took place at Emanuel A.M.E Church in Charleston, SC four years ago. It is hard to describe the experience we had as the families represented in the film were in attendance to watch it for the first time together.
At the end of the film one of the survivors and three of the family members took the stage for a panel interview. As I watched and I listened I simply found myself asking these questions. How could I forgive the man that did this? Where would I find the strength to go on?
God continues to work through these families by providing the answers to these questions. Though many topics were discussed they continued to focus primarily on three things.
- Prayer – Time and time again the individuals on the stage said that we need to pray. We need to pray every day. There are many changes that need to take place to address racism, gun violence and hatred but only God can change hearts.
- Scripture – So much has been taken away from these families but the one thing that could not be taken was their faith. God’s word is true and His love is endless.
- Forgiveness – The families had every right to be angry and to be hurt. God knows that I would be. However, this did not stop them from offering unconditional forgiveness. The family members willingness to forgive allows healing to take place, not just for them but for an entire community.
The hate crime that took place in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015 cannot be forgotten. The act of forgiveness that took place in Charleston, South Carolina on June 19, 2015 will not be forgotten. Hatred and racism entered the church and love and forgiveness were the result. This is the Gospel.
Emanuel has changed my life and it will change yours as well. You can see the film as a theatrical Fathom Event on June 17, 2019 and June 19, 2019. Go to https://emanuelmovie.com to learn more about being a part. All of the proceeds from this film will go to the families and survivors.
Jason Ellerbrook – President and Owner – Engage Media Partners