For Such a Time as This: Hope and Forgiveness after the Charleston Massacre

Sharon Risher with Sherri Wood Emmons. Chalice, $17.99 (144p) ISBN 978-0-8272-4323-1
In this emotional memoir, hospital chaplain Risher explores her life and reaction to the 2015 massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, in which her mother, two cousins, and a friend were murdered. She begins with her reaction to learning about the massacre and follows through to the murder trial of Dylann Roof, when family members of the dead were allowed to address Roof. Nadine, Risher’s younger sister, accepted the invitation and used the moment to forgive Roof. The moment stuck with Risher, because she knew “that God commands us to forgive, but I was not ready to forgive this monster who killed my mother.” Risher also recalls her upbringing in Charleston with four siblings, meeting Myra, leaving for college in North Carolina, hitting a rocky patch with drugs, and getting help from her loving mother. At the end, Risher writes of how she eventually came to forgive Roof, which was a long and difficult process: “I had to work hard spiritually to walk toward religion.” Frankly considering what it means to forgive, Risher provides a gripping testimony in this unflinching memoir. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/27/2019
Release date: 06/01/2019
Genre: Religion
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