So now here it comes again. For many, a very painful day, still and always. For all of us who were old enough to witness it live, a memory permanently engraved, an ugly tattoo over scar tissue. Yet with time, inevitably, the intensity is not the same. This is an odd week for those of us in Birmingham. Sunday, we will have a painful memory remembered from fifty years ago. The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was bombed just before services began. Barnett Wright has written a wonderful remembrance in words and pictures of that fateful year, 1963, that changed America forever, and Birmingham with it. Those painful memories still rankle or stir devotion and sadness, depending on the person you talk to about it. Continue reading “Remembering 9-11and 9-15”
I had many thoughtful calls about Hurricane Sandy because I have a daughter in New York City and another in New York State. Both, thankfully, escaped the worst of it, neither even experienced a power outage. They had friends, of course, who did. But inevitably, an avalanche of odd theological statements come forth.
Speculation on natural disasters are not, of course, new. A few people said, “God is telling us something.” Having been through a tornado that hit my church many years ago, I wince at such statements, especially since the tornado spared every part of our proposed expansion program and hit every part that we had not considered, namely the offices and the sanctuary, where it ripped a hole in the roof right over the pulpit, which a few sawdust trail preachers in town suggested was payback for our liberalism (we ordain women and are open to all races and do not marginalize divorced persons, and have practiced these ways since the 1970s).