Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Candles in The Pines

In the pines, in the pines,
where the sun never shines,
and they shiver when the cold winds blow.

-- Hank Williams (d.1953)

Last evening approximately two hundred of us gathered in front of the dumpsters at The Pines Apartments. It was a warm evening in St. Marys, Georgia, but many of the residents of The Pines are shivering in fear. A week ago the body of a young woman was found in those very dumpsters. Who could do such a cold deed?

Clergy from the Camden County Ministerial Alliance, led by the Rev. Frank Logue who organized the event, handed out candles. We sang Amazing Grace and The Old Rugged Cross. Then with lit candles in hand we marched en masse around the parking lot and returned to the dumpsters for the closing prayers. We prayed and wept for the young murder victim whose identity remains a mystery. God knows her identity and somewhere, someone misses her. God also knows the identity of her murderer(s) who we pray will be brought to justice.

At the end of the service several people placed their lit candle stubs in front of the dumpsters as a memorial to the young woman who was thrown into those smelly bins. This light was to me a very powerful symbol. It is the symbol that St. John uses (John 1:1-5) to describe Jesus in the prologue to his Gospel:

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him,
and without him not one thing came into being.
What has come into being in him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.

The darkness cannot overcome our prayers and presence at the dumpsters, either. Thanks to everyone who came and to those who were present in spirit. For excellent photographs of this event, see http://kingofpeace.blogspot.com.

In peace,
Linda +
The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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