In a world where revenge and anger seem to reign supreme, the families of the victims who lost their lives to Dylann Roof are choosing a drastically different path in response to Roof’s violence: turning the other cheek. According to news outlet christiannews.net, “Family members of those who were shot to death while attending a 2015 Bible study at South Carolina’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church called upon gunman Dylann Roof to turn to Christ on Wednesday as he was formally sentenced to death for his crimes.”
Astoundingly, one family member by the name of Sheila Capers was even documented extending an invitation to pray with Roof, while also sharing that she currently prays on her own for the convicted murderer to be saved: “If at any point before you are sentenced and you’re in prison and you want me to come and pray with you, I will do that,” she offered.
According to all reports, despite the kindness many extended even in the face of such horror and absolute lack of remorse on Roof’s part, the gunman proudly—and apparently with no emotion whatsoever—refused to make eye contact with those who spoke to him, remainingexpressionless.
Addressing Roof’s near inhuman lack of emotion, Dan Simmons Jr., the son of ministerial staff member Daniel Simmons, who was among the victims, had this to say to Roof: “I understand why you don’t want to look at us, so I will speak to the spirit that possesses you.” Simmons continued: “You don’t have to look at me. But I see that spirit. I want you to think about that as I forgive you for your act, for your actions,”he said. “Know you have an opportunity to ask for forgiveness. Know that God will forgive you. …If you choose to serve Him, you will have a better life.”
Simmons and Capers are just two of the many who seem to superhumanly be offering personal forgiveness to Roof despite the pain he has caused, and his utter lack of remorse for his actions. Simmons gives a small window of understanding into the motivations of his own reaching out to Roof, explaining that, “I know that you don’t understand [my response], but God requires me to forgive you. He also requires me to plead and pray for you. And I do that.”
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: January 13, 2017