Tuesday, February 9, 2016

South Carolina, so much more

And when hatred stands
And knocks you down
We see you rise
To Higher Ground
Instead of Blood
We see HIS hand
For America's sake
Please, help us understand!

From the song, "South Carolina, so much more"
(by R.P.Edwards)

An obscure beginning. This, being an election year, this writer was (and still is) a huge fan of a presidential candidate (former) who would have, if given the opportunity, done great good in the office (former Governor, Mike Huckabee). The electorate was not convinced.

Anyway, the preliminary--pick the candidate for the eventual Republican nominee--process begins in Iowa and, since my God-given talents lean towards verse and voice, I wanted to do a pro-Iowa song with a gentle endorsement of said candidate. The result was "Iowa Stand" (a link to is currently at the bottom of the page). It, of itself, is apolitical. 

Well, knowing that South Carolina too has a strong Christian base, I thought perhaps a song for The Palmetto State might be in order. Yes, it started as a thought, a nudge, a stirring and, one would think that the removal of my man from consideration would have ended it. It did not. And, as I did more research on the State and its struggles, I quickly came to realize that there is more to South Carolina than Myrtle Beach and Fort Sumter.

Slavery; a horrid practice. Lessened by the blur of time, it was nevertheless an evil institution that treated those made in God's Image as less than human; as property; livestock. South Carolina championed it. And, theirs was not just a passive endorsement; no, the State was the FIRST to secede and to attempt the death of others through government sanctioned warfare. And, of course, after the bloodletting known as the Civil War the evils of the KKK, Jim Crow, and segregation found a ready home.

But, I don't want to stay there for, if I may, the real issue is "sin," and, as so many South Carolinians know, the solution is always...Christ. On June 17, 2015 a young, white male was lovingly welcomed into a Bible Study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Driven by hate he ended up murdering nine of those attending; hoping to start a Race War. He did not.

Indeed, the Country--so often divided and in conflict with one another--it (we) did NOT witness a violent response to the violent act, but rather, what WAS seen was a united outpouring of compassion culminating with some of the victims' families going so far as to extend forgiveness to he who did the unthinkable.

You see? South Carolina, although resplendent with those "things" that are pleasant to the senses; those "things" that please the eye and entertain the muscles and mind; South Carolina, dear reader,...is so much more. For, it has in its confines an understanding; a knowing; that our survival rests not in ourselves...but in He whose heart and grace knows no bounds. And Oh, how we in America need this!

And...when I read the State's Motto: "While I breathe, I hope"...that did it.

In conclusion; I hope this little offering is a blessing. There's no "endorsement" attached other than for the one who redeemed me from my own personal bondage years ago. And, although I realize this song is simplistic, a bit strained in places, amateurish at best; I dearly hope the message of South Carolina becomes the theme of ALL fifty States. So that we would truly become, once and for all; One nation, Under God, Indivisible...

South Carolina, so much more



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