THE LATTER GLORY OF THIS HOUSE
SHALL BE GREATER THAN THE FORMER,
SAIETH THE LORD, AND
IN THIS PLACE WILL I GIVE PEACE.
This weekend we pilgrimaged to Coventry to see the bombed-out shell of Coventry Cathedral, famously demolished during the 11-hour blitz of German Luftwaffe during WWII. It is an eerie place. With the crooked fingers of warped walls scraping at the sky, the red brick remains are a remembrance, an embracing acceptance. While the ceiling and interior furnishings of the church are gone, a skeleton of walls and sharply-cut windows remain. The stained glass has for the most part been blown out but remnants wedged in the rounded flourishes glint vivid blue and red.
Everywhere is inscribed the mantra “Father Forgive” and it is true Coventry has been a hive for reconciliation among communities affected by WWII from Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima. The ragged redness of jumbled stone is an image not just of this city but of the truth and freedom that come from living within brokenness. It is a place of sorrow and death, but not hopelessness. Among the red and blue shards of the past, there is the green of new life.