The invitation simply read,
“Please support our Coptic Rally on Sunday 03/01/2015 Candle Light Vigil for 21 Egyptians Martyred in Libya 3:00 pm.
Nashville Public Library …”
There were many reasons one could have convinced themselves Not to attend.
An Outsider from another part of the Church, as we know it..
Pundits and Silent Pulpits.
Heavy rain, off and on..
Yes, yes, there could have been Reasons, perhaps weak, why not to go.
Yet at the very heart of the Franciscan charism encompasses a Huge part of-Embracing- regardless of what the World views as different or foreign. The parts we know for “Certain” and the other parts less clear..
It’s one of the very reasons God called me to the Franciscans.
So I went, and I’m ever glad I did, for I found the Spirit of Unity and Profound Welcome within the gathering of my Coptic Orthodox Brothers and Sisters. A Community who mourn their dead-OUR dead-but come out on a rainy, sky darkened & gray afternoon- to light the Candle..Sing the age old hymns and raise the flag of hope that the world our children inherit, is left Better, fuller, Safer than what we have given them to work with.
I was asked to Open with prayer, complete with Bullhorn.
I was not given a script to read or told what to say. No one seemed particularly concerned, outside of welcoming me, the Stranger.
I was, however, humbled to speak a blessing over the assembled. To lift the flag of Hope. To see the children, sing and pray..the families holding tight to one another. Knowing that its their world we venture out for..and their children’s children. And for the 21 martyrs, their loved ones, family and communities, who knew it too.