Healing for our community begins where the manhunt ended

Published 2:56 pm Friday, November 29, 2019

There are weeks when the news is bright, shiny and comes with the warmth of a blanket fresh from the dryer. Then there are weeks, such as this, that break hearts, shake the soul and send a shiver down the spine.

As we come to this weekend, this respite from work and the rush of a hectic holiday, we look back on a week that was the latter; a week we might wish to forget.

From a drive-by shooting on South Street to a fight and shooting at a beloved restaurant, to the horrific scene on Halls Ferry Road Wednesday afternoon where a man was murdered, this week was not among those that lifted the spirit.

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But in both the weeks we celebrate and the weeks we want to forget, there is one commonality; prayer.

In what better place could the hunt for murder suspect Jason Kyle Skinner ended than in the parking lot of a church. In what better place could the restoration of faith and the mending to a broken community begin than the parking lot of a church.

Wednesday, Skinner reportedly shot and killed Courtney Dewayne Anderson at a home on Halls Ferry Road. The hours-long manhunt that ensued gripped a part of our community in fear, but thankfully ended peacefully with Skinner’s arrest as he left Crossway Church; a church he had broken into earlier.

His arrest quieted the nerves of those who worried about his location and motives but did little to heal what must be a devastated Anderson family that is left to understand the why of what happened.

But, where the manhunt ended is where our recovery starts; at church, in our faith and belief in our God.

During a long drive to Alabama to spend much-needed time with some of my extended family, my wife Stephanie and I talked about the horror that unfolded Wednesday, and the other violent and senseless acts of the weeks.

While we both know evil exists, it is hard to imagine just what must go wrong in a person’s life for them to believe firing into an occupied home while driving through a neighborhood is ever warranted. While we know evil exists, it is hard to imagine what must provoke a person to shoot and kill someone in broad daylight.

While we cannot explain it, while we cannot understand it, what she and I both know is that prayer works and God can and will heal.

Our community is one that is very strong in faith and blessed to have so many churches who can help rally and repair those families so tragically affected by the events of this past week.

This is a week based on Thanksgiving, not just because of what we have in possessions, but what God has provided and continues to provide.

My column today is not just words on a screen or on paper, but rather a prayer. It is a prayer for these families, the victims and our community.

I know prayer works. It has worked in my life and I have faith it will work here.

Wednesday’s manhunt could not have ended any better for those involved and for our community. It ended where our recovery begins.

 

Tim Reeves is editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at tim.reeves@vicksburgpost.com.

 

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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