God’s love and power amazes me every day. The recent tragedy in Charleston at Emanuel AME Church was heartbreaking, but the love and forgiveness shown by the families of the victims will forever change us. By the expression of Christ’s love from these families, a flag came down.

The removal of the Confederate flag has been contested for years with harsh rhetoric, demonstrations, pickets and boycotts. Each action by either side was met with an equal and opposite reaction from the other.

That is until our community and the world witnessed the families of the victims express Christ’s love and forgiveness to an undeserving hate monger.

The power of their love reached into our hearts, minds and souls and allowed almost everyone who witnessed it to feel a bond with these families.

Their pain became ours, their love became ours and perhaps for the first time allowed us to walk in their shoes and feel the bond between us in unity.

Christ’s love and forgiveness does that. The unity between us makes us more aware of things that are hurtful to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

That has happened in Charleston.

And a flag came down.

Jerry Young

President, Charleston Leadership Foundation

River Reach Way

Charleston