Colorado State Senator Mike Johnston got up in the middle of the night to compose a handwritten letter.
Senator Mike Johnston. (via Twitter)
It's barely been a day since the tragic massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. As everyone struggles to come to grips with the horror of what happened, one local lawmaker from Colorado decided he couldn't just sit by and do nothing. He had to fight back against the despair with a message of togetherness and positivity.
Senator Johnston got up in the middle of the night and wrote a letter to the pastor and elders of Shorter Community AME Church, a Denver congregation affiliated with the church in South Carolina. Johnston drove to the church and taped the letter to the door, so they would see it first thing when they got in the morning.
As it turns out, he didn't even have to wait that long. The pastor, Dr. Timothy Tyler, was so grief-stricken he couldn't sleep either, and saw Johnston's post on Facebook. He drove over to the church to get the letter. “It touched my heart so greatly," he told The Denver Post.
Here's Johnston's Facebook post, including the full text of the letter, as well as his message to anybody reading it:
Since the letter went up, Johnston has received an outpouring of support. People have been taking up his #onlylovecandothat hashtag for their own messages of hope:
A message of support for St Luke AME family in #Nola based on loving example of @MikeJohnstonCO #onlylovecandothat pic.twitter.com/gyViYS3sZW
— Eric Parrie (@eparrie) June 18, 2015
Thanks to Maggie from @NSNO_NOLA #onlylovecandothat pic.twitter.com/ZwJj3jW7dD
— Mike Johnston (@MikeJohnstonCO) June 18, 2015
@MikeJohnstonCO thank you for the example. To St. Luke's AME in Nashville. #onlylovecandothat pic.twitter.com/lXX4oOVLGW
— Emily Freitag (@EmilyFreitagTN) June 19, 2015
There's nothing more inspiring than people reaching out to each other in their time of need. That's what love can do.