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Editor thanks Bettis Rainsford for compassion during time of loss

web posted January 16, 2009
COLUMN - Dear Mr. Bettis Rasinsford,
Thank you for your heartfelt condolences. This has been a very hard week on my family. I was quite surprised to receive your letter so full of personally vile, mortifying, and shameful attacks on a day like today. I am overwhelmed
not only by your compassion for me, but also for my entire family, including my wife who lost her mother on Monday. Our family and the families of the other three sisters went through a grueling five day around the clock vigil at Mrs. Adams’ side praying, crying, feeling helpless as we watched one of Jesus’ most faithful servants suffer until the end.

I want to thank you for calling me “un-Christian” and saying my soul is rotting as the last week has been spent praying with family members and pastors and members of Big Stevens Creek and Sweetwater Baptist Churches. It was quite obvious how the Holy Spirit was present in the home built by Mrs. Adams’ husband, the late Epps Adams Jr. Though there were times of bottomless grief, the Holy Spirit would lift us up.

Granted, for a moment I did lose my Christian nature when we read your letter. However, I will not respond in kind as every relationship with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a personal one and I have no more knowledge of your personal relationship with Him than you do of mine.

As we returned from the funeral for my beloved mother-in-law and checked email (which has been secondary to everything else these past few days) I see I have 1,345 unread messages of the 1,346 in my mailbox (Pictured left). The reason for that is that my wife and I read Bettis’ letter first thinking it may have been a true condolence letter, as it was not sent with a subject line and began that way in form. Those other emails must be from me because, as we all know, you have now declared I spend hours writing the comments posted in the Wandering Minds.

I am not even going to dignify your shameless accusations of racism, something I loathe.

Your letter was so uplifting at a time our spirits were so low. I want to thank you for sharing that Christian love in a way that would not make Christ “cringe”, as you so eloquently put it. I would hope that everyone that reads this sees you really do reach out to those in this community when they are suffering the most tragic moments in their family history, the passing of the family matriarch.

God loved Jennetta Adams and she loved Him. We love them both and know Mrs. Adams is rejoicing with Jesus praising God.

I cannot thank Bettis Rainsford enough for his compassion and heartfelt condolences that will be a vivid mark as we reflect on this sad day in the years to come when we gather together throughout the years.

To Bettis, I feel sorry for you, I really do. I hope everyone that reads this will offer a prayer lifting you up by name. I am not sure why you wanted to do what you did, or what detriment to me you thought might come from it, but you have inflicted unnecessary emotional pain to one of the finest families Edgefield County has ever known at the lowest point in their lives.

We are family and what you do to one of us you do to all of us.

I hope you are proud of yourself.

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