Almost lost in the wake of another round of shootings in Orlando was the one-year anniversary of the Charleston church shootings last summer. On June 17, 2015, nine church members were slain during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church by a racist young gunman. Among the dead was the church’s pastor.
I come from a long line of storytellers. Perhaps it’s the Irish in us, but I’ve come to see it not only as our way of passing along the family history, but of making sense of the world. And my very favorite story growing up was about my parents’ wedding day.
It was Christmas Eve, and everyone agreed that the church looked absolutely perfect for the candlelight service. It was a beautiful old church, a very fine church, and the people were very proud of it. Why, even the governor had been known to worship there on occasion, although not tonight.
There’s a secret I’m going to tell you that you may have already discovered for yourself: In bad times most people disappear. Folks are just plain uncomfortable. They don’t know what to do, so they don’t do anything. Maybe they send a card but keep their distance. Others call and say, “Let us know if we can do anything,” and tell themselves that just making the offer is enough.
I’d like to go home for Mother’s Day this year. I’ll take the bridge across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky., to Indiana and wait for the turnoff to Tell City, the rolling green hills and tidy German farms telling me I am almost home. Then I’ll look for the small white house with the trel…
Albanian nun Mother Teresa spent her life caring for the poorest of the poor in India, many of them lepers covered with sores dying in the streets of Calcutta. Most of us can’t imagine a more terrible end to our lives. But the Nobel Peace Prize winner believed there is an even more distressing need, what she called “the most terrible poverty” of loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.