St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral is my church home in Seattle, WA. With a strong mission surrounding social justice in our immediate community and beyond, St. Mark’s serves all, members of its congregation and everyone else. And I do meant everyone else. It is a welcoming place for every single person in our community – whether a believer or not.
How rare to find such a place today, particularly one that is associated with a religious denomination. But we have it right here in Seattle.
That is why my heart has been saddened by the senseless vandalism of its beautiful cathedral recently. Yes, this is what was written on the Cathedral outdoor walls. I can’t make sense of who would do such a thing – but there are many random, awful events happening in America and all the world over today. I guess it has always been happening, but with our cameras on hand and everyone sharing across social media, it’s not easy to hide these horrific acts of violence.
Luckily, it was just the church building – so much worse has happened in churches across America recently.
What do you make of it all? Does it stress you out to see such violence brought against a loving organization that serves the community? How do you make sense of these seemingly small acts of terror taking place each day?
For me, I find it necessary to keep my eyes, ears, and heart open. However, I often want to close it out and not look. How much easier would life be if I didn’t have to engage in seeing what is happening. It is easy for me to understand people checking out. It is hard to stay in.
Second, I look to the leaders for uplifting thoughts and meaning-making of these incidents so I can call myself to see what I may not be able to from the surface. Dean Thomason has done exactly this with his statement regarding the vandalism.
Finally, I take heart that I am not alone in my outrage and that there are many people who feel as I do. I am not in the minority, and together there is strength to overcome.
Still, there it is. The ugly writing on the Cathedral wall. We will wash it away having acknowledged it was there, but what next?
To that question, I have no answer.