Letter from Claverack 09 13 15 In a time of travail…

The sun is setting here in Claverack. It has been a grey day, mostly, with bits of rain here and there. It’s been warm but not hot. The high was at most mid-70’s today. Soon it will be cool and I’ll be lighting fires in the Franklin stove.

As has been the case of late, I had a hard time waking this morning and hit the snooze alarm an annoying number of times but, as it was my personal commitment to go to church today, I pulled myself eventually out of bed and prepped myself and got off to church.

For some reason, I found myself thinking about my Catholic childhood, all of us forced to attend Sunday Mass with our classes, filling the 9:00 service with all our bodies, a Mass generally avoided by any thinking adult. Who would want to go to church with hundreds of school children?

Sister Ann, my 8th grade teacher, announced one day that we would be persecuted because we were Catholics. I remember thinking how strange that sounded. Certainly I didn’t think of myself as being persecuted. I lived in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood and it didn’t seem to me that anyone was persecuting me for being Catholic.

I was born a couple of generations after that had happened.

It came to mind today because Mother Eileen, interim Pastor at Christ Church Episcopal, where I now attend service, talked today in her sermon about those who are suffering around the world because they are Christians.

And, while I am not in those countries, it is real that Christians in Iraq, Syria, and other places are being targeted. There is IS with its rigid and antediluvian interpretation of Islam and there is persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt. Muslim/Christian tensions inflame the African continent.

I thought we were beyond those times but we’re not, not at all.

As I drove to church, I was listening to a program on New England Public Radio that was devastatingly funny in its oral portraits of what Republican candidates are saying regarding constitutionality. It was almost hysterical, except these people are serious. The constitution should be enforced when combating Muslims but shouldn’t be enforced when Kim Davis refuses to uphold the law of the land. The hypocrisy was astounding.

Post church, I went for a drive while I listened to “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me!,” my favorite NPR program and then I went to the Red Dot and perused a new cookbook I had purchased the other day, realizing that we are slipping into fall and it was time to think about Holiday meals.

While the day was supposed to be cursed with thunderstorms, there were none. A bit of light rain has fallen but nothing more.

It is seven in the evening. The light has almost completely left the sky. The light on the fountain has automatically turned on.

The house is quiet. My world is quiet though I know that far away from me the world is not quiet.

The Saudis are bombing Yemen, inflicting terrible pain upon the civilians. People in the lands controlled by IS are cowering in their homes. The markets of Baghdad are not safe.

All of this seems far away. Today, though, Al Qaeda called for individuals to launch attacks in America. Europe is in turmoil over the refugee situation. 14,000 refugees arrived in Germany today. Austria and Hungary have closed their borders.

They are being overwhelmed.

People are lamenting the refugee situation without looking at the wars that are causing the situation.

These are desperate times. I am not sure what to do except to donate to charities who are attempting to help the massive flow of people, desperate to escape their desperate lives, wanting to flee to someplace where they might not be randomly killed or starved for lack of resources.

I have no answers and am not sure I have the questions. I only know we are in a time of travail.

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3 Responses to “Letter from Claverack 09 13 15 In a time of travail…”

  1. rebeccaMpells Says:

    These are indeed troubling times and the chaos in some countries not so very far from England is constantly on my mind. The chaos which leads as you say to a constant stream of people who are so scared they are prepared to do unthinkable things to try to save their families and themselves. They believe they will be safe and welcomed in Europe and my heart breaks when they are met with consternation and worse by some. The majority of Europeans like myself believe fervently that we must help and offer sanctuary. There are huge logistic challenges – how do we absorb and care for millions of traumatised people, how will we pay for it? But where there is a will a way will be found. And what do we do about the reasons for people fleeing their own countries – do we intervene, if so how without harming more innocents? I’m loosing sleep over all this at the moment but it is nothing compared to what those fleeing their homelands are experiencing. There certainly needs to be a co-ordinated Europewide response if not a world-wide one.

  2. Andrew Fawcet Says:

    Andrew Fawcet

    Letter from Claverack 09 13 15 In a time of travail… | Tombers’s Blog

  3. tombers Says:

    Thank you for your comment, Rebecca. it is so true; it needs to be a worldwide response. Sorry for the delay in replying.

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