Thursday, July 19, 2012

shoulders broad enough to carry

Years ago, we went to Gettysburg... in their introductory session in the visitor center, I watched and listened as a voice spoke of the battle, and spot lights lit areas in the 1/10 scale train-table like model in the center of the room.

I don't like war. This was re-enforced as I watched and listened to this Gettysburg tale.

After the introduction, you may then get a map and drive around on the battle field. I hated it. The blood in the ground cried out to me --the young boys crying for their mother's and friends. Thousands of them. Thousands upon thousands.

I remember --we were out of the car and on a high rocky promontory, and I had to sit down because I was afraid I would faint --the battle pressed in on me so --even 130 years after.... I told Joel I hated being there and we had to leave -I couldn't stand another minute of it... and he helped me to the car and we left.

So, we were talking about Wounded Knee this morning over coffee, and talking about battle fields and objects of war and war, and I reminisced about my feelings about visiting that battle field and vowing to never ever again visit a battle field --only, Joel said he never went to Gettysburg with me....

Funny how that works.... I wonder who it was that helped me back to the car?! Who else knew my inner turmoil? Who else knew my awful sensitivity --my weirdness?

I say this and think about this as I accompany folks I love and serve as I go this morning to support them as they continue their fight to have Wounded Knee artifacts displayed --shirts and toys and other objects confiscated --taken off the men, women and children rather than buried with them in the trench dug as their grave. We will see the stuff. And professionals will determine whether they are too fragile to display. While the old ladies will continue to campaign to see and display the objects so that healing can begin --so that eventually the objects can be copied and then buried --as they should have been a long time ago.

I am preparing to walk through the valley of the shadow of death.... and the readings leapt off the page at me....

at prayer this morning (Psalm 37:1-18)

Do not fret yourself because of evildoers; *
do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
For they shall soon wither like the grass, *
and like the green grass fade away.

Put your trust in the LORD and do good; *
dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
Take delight in the LORD, *
and he shall give you your heart’s desire.
Commit your way to the LORD and put your trust in him, *
and he will bring it to pass.
He will make your righteousness as clear as the light *
and your just dealing as the noonday.

Be still before the LORD *
and wait patiently for him.
Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, *
the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; *
do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off, *
but those who wait upon the LORD shall possess the land.

In a little while the wicked shall be no more; *
you shall search out their place, but they will not be there.
But the lowly shall possess the land; *
they will delight in abundance of peace.

The wicked plot against the righteous *
and gnash at them with their teeth.
The Lord laughs at the wicked, *
because he sees that their day will come.
The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow
to strike down the poor and needy, *
to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.
Their sword shall go through their own heart, *
and their bow shall be broken.

The little that the righteous has *
is better than the great riches of the wicked.
For the power of the wicked shall be broken, *
but the LORD upholds the righteous.

And Paul --I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I shall go, in trepidation for myself --but if I am approaching this morning with trepidation, how much more so for those who carry today the living blood with which these grave goods are drenched....

So, I pray for clear vision, a calm and discerning heart... and shoulders broad enough to carry what I must carry until I can lay it down upon the altar...

Amen.

3 comments:

Kirkepiscatoid said...

I suspect you will find more inner strength on this one...and here's why.

Gettysburg was not your fight. In a deeper way, you were only a spectator.

This one? Well, it's your battle too. I suspect if anyone in your flock were in harm or danger, you would, as my late grandmother used to say, "walk through the gates of Hell with a five gallon can of gasoline and your hair on fire" to save them.

Well, this is a battle within their very souls...and their cries will give you strength. This one seems...well...different to me.

JCF said...

It's funny (strange): I'm as pacifist as they come, but I remember only pride (and gratitude) when I visited Gettysburg. A terrible price, that war. But the Good Guys won.

War No More!

Caminante said...

My first trip to El Salvador in 1994 caused a similar sensation of walking through pools of blood and hearing the voices of the dead cry out. People who had been to Gettysburg said it was the same feeling. Will we ever learn?