Sunday, July 27, 2008

I hate war

Well, it's Sunday night.... Joel & I drove my nephew to DC right after church. Long drive --encountered a real hunker of a storm, bad traffic. Got there safe --went to the FDR Memorial at the bottom of the Mall --beyond and off to the side of the green space between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial surrounded by our national museums and other memorials.

While some of the memorials on the mall are majestic, a few have too much ballyhoo to the glory of war. But the FDR Memorial is strikingly different. It is a meditation of rigid granite, flowing water and angular but soft green growing things,

with special attention paid to those with disabilities, and dedicated to those who have little and mostly do without. All of the inscriptions in the walls are accompanied by braille. And then there is this inscription:

"I have seen war. I hate war."

I felt this place was my place, my voice on the mall in the midst of all the ballyhoo.

It was a funny sense of belonging for me, as I am usually not in sync with the sub-text of my own nation. It was a calming end to a day which felt harried and drawn and stretched --you see, I checked my email between church services.... I usually don't. But in my inbox was a response from one of my Bishops to a letter I wrote earlier this week (found below). His response was gracious, saying he would bring the pain of St. ------'s to his Bible study group, his indaba group, with him in all his conversations. And he asked for my continued prayers as this coming week would be very difficult for "the Americans."

My heart sank as I read this. My first thought was --so, all the rumor and innuendo are true.... But, then, I thought --good. I am glad my Bishop knows our pain. And it IS difficult. So, I wrote him back directly --saying I would keep him and all the Bishops in my prayers. And then said simply and pointedly --please don't abandon us.

I hate war. And I hate war in the church most of all.

It is too bad that image is not bigger. It's really gross. It is the essence of what is happening.

Pray for the Church. Pray for our Communion. Set aside for just a little while the hurt and anger and fear and all that other stuff.... Pray that the Spirit will indeed move through Lambeth. And be assured that God will redeem it all.