Sunday, June 26, 2016

The morning after

Nobody expected this.
To wake to a world that has changed so dramatically.
To realise that we had been living in a bubble with likeminded people, and so utterly failed to understand the depths of frustration and desperation that led people of good will to side with what looks, from my grieving perspective, like the force of pride and prejudice (I refuse to engage with the possibility that in some cases the good will may exist simply in my determinedly optimistic imagination).
To learn that in this wonderful, diverse city which I'm privileged to serve, so many had apparently turned away from that very diversity towards the presumed security of closed borders.
To watch as the national structures that had seemed solid and secure reeled in the face of a day when people turned out in greater numbers than for many a year to make a small cross on a ballot paper.
I'm guessing that the level of shock was last matched when Churchill was ousted in the first post-War election...
Nobody expected this.

And it would be so easy to simply vent my own feelings, to give up on this small island, to explore the possibilities that might be open through my Scots grandmother or my Irish grandfather.
But- that's would be to invalidate my calling to THIS place at THIS time.

So, at noon, we gathered as happens every Friday in the ruins of our old Cathedral - destroyed by the tide of anger and hatred that was the 2nd World War.
We stood where Provost Howard had stood on the morning after HIS night of storm and terror - and committed ourselves once again to the way of reconciliation that he chose.
We will need to build bridges within our country as well as with our friends in other places.
We will need to try and understand one another as never before, to leave our places of safety and risk being vulnerable with those who felt they had little to lose.
We will need to carry on loving - even the leaders whose rhetoric seems to have resulted in a country polarised as never before in my lifetime.

Coventry Cathedral stands today, as it did before the Referendum, for reconciliation and for hope.
By God's grace, I will try and stand with it.

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