Thursday, May 21, 2009

Driving Lessons

Written by Chamie

After several panicked gasps from me, after several snarls from Tim, and after approximately 23 wrong turns (those damn British roundabouts), we concluded that driving through England could be a very strong test of our marriage. Getting to and from Coventry yesterday was quite a... spectacle, I guess you could say. If you are unfamiliar with Coventry, the cathedral there was bombed during World War II. The ruins stand next to the newly built cathedral as a testament to peace and reconciliation. As I made my way up the stairs and stood before the rubbled altar, I could do nothing but weep. I felt heavy with the weight of war and hate and violence. I imagined what my grandfather must have faced when he fought in Europe. I thought of him crying decades later as he held my mother's hand while watching SAVING PRIVATE RYAN at the movie theater. And then the words of Jesus, there at that rubbled altar, spoke to me in an utterly overwhelming way, "Father, forgive them." I couldn't stop my tears. We as Christians are called to such radical forgiveness. This also includes forgiving our husbands for getting in the wrong lane, our wives for muttering over errors and maps, and the British for their roundabouts.

Today was much easier in terms of driving. It helps when you are following a local. We have been richly blessed with Mr. and Mrs. George & Linda Denman, the parents-in-law of one of Tim's best friends from high school. They live in a little place called Stoney Stratton. The NEW part of their home was built in 1796 - the older part, probably about 300 years before that. We are all quite taken by the fact that we have been warmly welcomed into this beautiful historical home - with such lovely grounds to boot. Today Linda led us to Wells Cathedral and Glastonbury Abbey. We stopped on the roadside to picnic in a random meadow on the way between the two locations; the children thought this was rather grand. Tim and I were struck, in particular, by Glastonbury. It is said to be the beginning point of Christianity in England. Today, though much-visited, the abbey lies in ruins, not due to bombing, but reformation, changing tides, neglect... After touring the abbey grounds, Tim and I strolled the main street of town and noted a shop for physic reading, a Sufi library, a store called Ying and Yang, places to buy things like crystals and candles and oils, and about every other form of spirituality you can imagine. In the car on the way home, we talked about how you live the truth of Jesus in such an eclectic world. We were able to talk theology and drive safely at the same time - a true accomplishment.

Tonight we lit the candle and gave thanks for forgiveness, truth, the light of Jesus, hospitality, grace, and safe travels. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you do not know how to leave a comment, please select "comment as" and then either "Name/URL" and type your name and webpage (if you don't have a webpage you can leave "URL" blank). Or you can select "annonymous" if you would like to omit your name. Once you do that you can type your comment in the box. Thanks.