Thursday, 4 June 2009

There, in the midst of them

I was just procrastinating and found these photos of a Church I visited in Zanzibar which is built on the former sight of a slave market. The alter rests on the place where slaves were sold, often into deep misery. It is built directly above cramped cells where hundreds of slaves 'waited' for their turn to come in cramped and filthy conditions.

When the slave trade was abolished an Anglican Bishop thought the most apt use for this ground would be to build a Church. I agree. This Christian church is a sign of solidarity with all the nameless and forgotten who have been subjected to terrible sufferings at the hands of other men in this world. It is difficult when thinking in these terms not to consider abortion, that great evil and persecution of our ow time, justified with the similar cry: 'this is not a human being...not a proper one'

This church is a place of hope and triumph, a recognition that evil does exist and can be overcome but not without, hard work, prayer and patience.

Walking around those cells where slaves suffered so terribly is a reminder of the unseen and constant suffering that Christ must have been struck by. To harm another human being in this way is to wound Christ himself. This is the burden we carry now with regard to the unborn.
I think every time I encounter a place such as this, an abortion clinic, Auschwitz, the cells of these slaves, it becomes clear to me how they are all tied together in one heavy knot. When we abandon our humanity we abandon the ability to recognise humanity in others, especially the fragile, vulnerable and weak. When we become arrogant we move further from God because it is not the superior, the powerful or the materially minded He is in the midst of -it is the forsaken and forgotten. It they who remain closest to Him but that doesn't make it their persecution right.
As John Paul II said- 'we must forgive but by the same token we must not forget'. Our witness must be to those who have not got the power to speak for themselves, our hope must be to abolish the injustice that weighs down the hearts and minds of man. Our job must be to see the humanity in others in order that they might come to see it in themselves. Our job must be to love, even in the midst of hate.


~Joseph the Worker said...

Very good thoughts, thanks for sharing as always!

SQUELLY said...

Thanks so much for commenting :-)


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