Friday, October 3, 2008

Prophet of LIberty -- Champion of the Slave

I love inexpressibly these streets of Boston over whose pavements my mother held up tenderly my baby feet. And if God grants me time enough I will make them too pure to bear the footsteps of a slave. ~ Wendell Phillips 1811-1884

Today Sandy and I took the train into South Station in Boston. It has been over 8 years since we have been in the shadow of the Brownstones. We also walked under ominous clouds along the choppy waters of the Charles River. Stiff, fresh, chilly winds braced us every step of the way.

Our trek included Trinity Church. We exited the busy, noisy streets and entered its sanctuary. I find it impossible to describe the beauty of the architecture, or the piety of the pews and the kneelers. How many petitioning Believers had knelt before God pouring out expressions of faith. Elevated high above the floor hung the ornate pulpit. From that lofty perch, some of the greatest Christian orators in our country's history delivered the Word of God. Stained glass windows surrounded us, and colorfully filtered the natural light, creating a mystical atmosphere.

After leaving Trinity we criss-crossed Copley Square and Plaza. In the middle is Boston Public Gardens -- set apart from the enormous high rises by wrought iron fences. Once inside, we meandered the paths that circled the lagoon, and from time to time stopped to read the platitudes carved into marble and granite pedestals. Atop the stone foundations stood likenesses of long deceased heroes. Frozen in time, they stand as silent spokesmen of a time when the freedom of a continent and marginalized peoples hung in the balance.

Beginning this post is the quote that caused deep emotions to well up inside me. When written, it was intended to speak against the unspeakable -- slavery. How did minds once reconcile something so egregious. Phillips, the Prophet of liberty -- Champion of the slave, would not.

As troubling as that era of such inhumane actions against another human was, I was struck even harder by a present conviction -- my calling as a Christ-follower. Upon my feet the Spirit has given me the shoes of the gospel of peace. For however long they are allowed to tread this earth, the noblest journey they could ever venture is to make them too pure to bear the footsteps of a slave of sin.

Bill Shorey ~ December 16, 1955 -- 20_ _

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said, dear husband.

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