Gerald Malloy glances at the defendant, Dylann Roof

Gerald Malloy glances at the defendant, Dylann Roof

Today was a juxtaposition of shocking evidence that Roof had written another manifesto in prison, drawing Nazi symbols on his shoes, shoes he was wearing in court as recently as this week. This was interspersed between more beautiful and moving testimony about the lives and loves of the victims’ survivors. Lots of tears, light and insight on lives well-lived.

As I consider this pitiful soul sitting ten feet from me I marvel at how a person can get sucked into and then become so entrenched in ever more extreme politics. But then I realize the same thing is happening to people every day. Is this happening because we are desperate to find the answer to that nagging existential question, “why is life so painful and unjust?” The deeper we go into hate and fear to answer this question, the farther from the answer we get. By disparaging or even destroying others, we move farther into darkness in search of the answer, even to the very depths of hell. Darkness will never be the answer, even if at times it seems the only one available.

FBI Agent Joseph Hamski presents Roof's prison manifesto

FBI Agent Joseph Hamski presents Roof’s prison manifesto

Today I’m praying for the miracle of redemption. I am praying for those who don’t know how to turn from darkness, because it’s all they know. I pray for those poor souls, who thought hate and fear was exactly what we needed. I pray for those who are now beginning to awaken to the dark world for which they so vehemently clamored, who may feel the only way out is down. I pray they awaken to the truth that we here, all of us, to be redeemed.

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