Sunday, July 17, 2016

Robert E.Lee in a Yankee Stained Glass Window

I was in a church very, very far north of the Mason-Dixie line this morning.  The deacon drew the congregation's attention to a stained glass window  with depictions of modern-day Christians of note. Albert Schweitzer, Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton were there, and to my surprise, so were Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee.  The deacon had tried to find out why Lincoln and Lee had both been honored. After making inquiries of the older folks who were around when that window was commissioned, she learned that the church has for a very long time been committed to the idea that people devoted to following Jesus can differ on very significant points. The inclusion of Lincoln and Lee together in that window was one way of expressing that conviction.

Here are a couple of quotes from Robert E. Lee, from the website of A Son of the South
Robert E. Lee had advocated for a peaceful end to slavery before the Civil War started:
"The doctrines and miracles of our Savior have required nearly two thousand years to convert but a small portion of the human race, and even among Christian nations what gross errors still exist! While we see the course of the final abolition of human slavery is still onward, and give it the aid of our prayers, let us leave the progress as well as the results in the hands of Him who, chooses to work by slow influences, and with whom a thousand years are but as a single day."  Excerpts from Robert E. Lee's Letter to President Pierce prior to the War

Loving one's enemy is difficult during war. The painful absurdity of being in a war against other Christians seems to have affected him deeply.
Upon hearing that Stonewall Jackson had been injured in battle, Lee Prayed for him and requested that word be sent to Jackson to let him know that he was praying for him . . . "When you return I trust you will find him better. When a suitable occasion offers, give him my love, and tell him that I wrestled in Prayer for him last night, as I never prayed, I believe, for myself." And he had to turn abruptly away to conceal his emotion. from Part 6, Chapter 8 of "A LIFE OF GEN. ROBERT E. LEE.  BY JOHN ESTEN COOKE
Has someone told you you've committed the unpardonable sin, or that you've slid into heresy,  because you don't believe the same things they do about  issues X, Y, Z?  God is God, as God is, whether or not you believe, and no matter what you believe, or what they believe, about God.

If it is "the still small voice of God" that speaks to the individual who is humbly listening for it, it is unlikely that anyone is going to have "all the answers."  You'll get the answers you need to live your life, not somebody else's.

Did you hear about this? 
Today, hundreds of people met to pray "a circle of love" around the The National Republican Convention, which  is to be held  in Cleveland this week.

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