Saturday, October 07, 2006
Matthew Shepard is an eternal candle that the hope in our lives can still light each and every day and with the lighting of that candle we should pray and pray very hard that the spirit of his life will remain in our hearts like an enternal flame forever. On this day, in 1998 Matthew Shepard was beaten, robbed snd tied like a scarecrow to a farmer's fence with his own shoe laces and left for dead. He died five days later. This December the 1st would have marked his 30th birthday. His murderers had even intended to rob his home. The farmer who owned the fence on which he was tied has taken it down. His parents are now strong advocates of the Gay movement. Thea Hopkins sang about him in "Jesus Is On The Wire" Elton John sang about him in "American Triangle" and Melissa Ethridge chronicled his tragic tale in a song called "Scarecrow". Peter, Paul and Mary have rerecorded the song and sing it tenderly in their current concerts. The devil wins with hate more than any other emotion. Its what he does best! It's how he attempts to get even with God. We must learn to love one another no matter what our differences are. God made each and every one of us unique and special and only the hasty heart attempts to destroy this. So I think on this day we should all forgive someone that has wronged us. One person will do. One person at a time. And let us beseech Almighty God that no difference in any man, woman or child will ever again trigger such a deplorable act again. Let us resolve to love one another in every way that we can. Maybe we should pray "Lord, creator of us all, may there never be a difference in a living soul or a human life that will darken our hearts enough to dilibertly wrong a human life in thought or deed in action or in non-reaction to any real or potential crisis in their lives" God loves us all, no matter what our faults may be, no matter what we think, or how we act, or what we believe. And we who have all been made in HIs image need to reflect upon this every hour and every day. Light a candle this day that tolerance defeats anger and that prejudice will die. Let us never forget this young man's sacrifice. Let us pary that there will never again exist a martyr of this dimension. Being different is what makes the world a fantastic place. If we fight for the right to be free, let us also fight for the right to be us-- just as God created us-- warts and all. We are gifts to each other in different wrapping and different bows-- let us never refuse to open the package because the wrapping is different than we see and accept as something usual. Today is also the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe. Poe was the most misunderstood genius of his age. In a brief forty years, he wrote more than Shakespeare and was more prolific than Longfellow. But he was a strange man and wrapped very differently that to what we are accustomed. He even died wearing another man's clothing and whose genius was only discovered long after his demise. Let us pray that difference can be delight. Opposites of us can teach us more than any lesson in school. And loving those who are so different makes each and every one of us a unique book on the shelf of life!