This morning while eating breakfast Karisse and I watched a spectacular sunrise over Cooke’s Peak. The grey clouds were struck with splashes of pink, orange and yellow, while the still-dark mountain stood in silent silhouette. When I checked my Facebook page I was not the only one in the parish appreciating the beauty.
But someone else was not. My brother in Indiana noted that the current administration is toying with the idea of ending birthright citizenship rights. Of course, it sparked off quite a dialog not nearly as pretty as the sunrise. For a moment I was drawn into the ugly underbelly of the divided country we are and the extent to which some are going to conquer rather than reconcile.
But then, I read a story this morning on the news that showed how three of the medical professionals that attended to Robert Bowers in the hospital after he killed 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg were Jewish, and they treated him with the same care they gave everyone, in spite of his shouting, “I want to kill all the Jews.” Dr. Cohen, the president of the hospital, checked on Bowers and introduced himself. As he left the room the FBI officer guarding Bowers is reported to have said, “I don’t know that I could have done that.” Here’s another sunrise.
Two worlds, one bent on dividing and conquering, the other committed to beauty and common humanity. This is at the core of C.S. Lewis’s description of heaven and hell in The Great Divorce.