Dr. Beth-Sarah Wright

Passionate advocate for authenticity in our lives and in our communities.

Mother Emanuel- God with us

Tonight my husband and I prayed with countless others at an ecumenical vigil at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church home of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Among Jews and Catholics and Baptists and Presbyterians and Episcopalians and Muslims we were reminded that being “good” does not mean being “passive” and now more than ever is when we need to speak up and speak back to the obscenity and the affront these actions are to God and the world.  My husband quoted MLK saying “the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” Tonight we celebrated being prisoners of hope and action. IMG_0971

I am a prisoner of hope.  God never said the road would be easy.  Things happen. Devastating things even.  Change remains constant. God remains unchanged.  God has brought us thus far and will not leave us. Emmanuel! God with us.  I am a prisoner of hope.  And hope builds power and boldness and confidence to be God’s extensions right here in the midst of the storms.


My heart aches for lives and souls lost.  For being blind to human dignity.  For seeing with our molded, manipulated imaginations and not with our hearts.  For losing to fear and not to courage.

My heart aches, for these actions burn like wildfire.  Rampant.  Reckless.  Contagious. Destructive. Debilitating. Deadly.

Yet, fire is not victorious.

My heart surges for the fertile medium that remains.  Scorched yet not silent.  Incinerated but not extinguished.

Cremated but not breathless.

Ablaze but not barren.

For up out of the gravid soil, life struggles to emerge.  Bold. Defiant. Dauntless.  A fire-eating delicacy bursts through.

Beautiful in its complicated brokenness.

Stalwart and assured.


Breathing in and out new possibility.



6 Responses so far.

  1. There is so much strength in knowing where we stand, thanks for strengthening our feet with your posting..

  2. And we stand strong and firm Brother Tomlin! Thank you for reading. Blessings to you.

  3. Thanks keep at it and don’t let your hands be idle.. Hug someone and smile, regardless

  4. Hebe Wall says:


    i would have liked to have been sitting in that sacred space with you all and everyone else there…

    It is such a comfort of sorts to grieve and ‘hope’ with one another…i’m sure songs or anthems were sung – music is such a beautiful way to uplift, yet brings tears, of sadness and consolation, Peace and joy – the whole gamut..and maybe a smile or two…That’s all, God, our Heavenly Father’s taking good care of all of us and letting us know, He’s always with us, forever, and ever!!

    We are heartsick, over the unbelievable loss of those nine dear, precious souls who were in Bible study praying…a tragedy that always makes me wonder where was God…(and of course, they were in God’s house!) When 9/11 happened, i was on the road and when i returned to my home church – St. Mark’s, Dalton, i ran into our priest’s office and said, where was God – why did he allow this to happen? She replied, He was right there; right in the middle with them..

    We have all of Charleston in our prayers; especially the families who must be devastated.. We continue to pray for Peace for all of them.

    God’s Peace, Joy and Love, Hebe Wall Dalton, GA St. Mark’s Episcopal Church


  5. Vivia Chin says:

    Beth, This is, absolutely beautiful, deep and touching.

  6. Thank you Aunt Vivia. Blessings to you!

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