Recently I was talking to my friend, Laurie Stroud, publisher of Birmingham Christian Family Magazine. She said, Brenda, you must interview Carolyn McKinstry. She is an amazing spiritual woman. She is so inspiring with her message of hope, love and forgiveness.
Carolyn survived the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963. I took Laurie's advice and called Carolyn McKinstry.
Today I was honored to interview her. She is now battling breast cancer. She and I walked the same path in surgery and treatments. I felt an instant sisterhood with her when I walked into the Church today. She showed me her finger nails. They had been burned by the chemo. I remembers the painful side effect of that treatment. It hurt my feet and hands. But there she was, even though she was probably tired, and hurting, she agreed to interview with me for an upcoming Matters of Faith.
But the meeting was so moving, I didn't want to wait to share with you how inspiring she is. She had heard of recent racial slurs on college campuses. She had tears in her eyes. All the work she had done for decades, speaking and educating others about replacing hatred with love, seemed to be in vain. The hate still exists. But she realized these were isolated incidents and reminded me and herself, that there had been thousands of lives she touched. She is determined to change the world, and I dare say she has done a good job of it. She has traveled around the world with her message of love and faith.
What she experienced first hand in 1963, most of us only have seen in pictures. Then after the church bombing, the house across the street from her home was bombed too. She would never be the same, Birmingham would never be the same, and our country would never be the same.
But it shouldn't be the same, we shouldn't forget, and we certainly shouldn't go backwards. Those recent reports of racial slurs on college campuses made her think, that we had gone backwards.
But she says, with God's love, the world can change, hearts can be changes and hate can be transformed to love.
Sunday at ten join me as she tells her amazing story of trying to change people one heart at a time.
She will also be featured in Birmingham Christian Family Magazine.