Reconciliation can take time

Post date: Mar 18, 2012 8:33:12 AM

Reconciliation was the theme at our church service this morning. When I got to church I was introduced to the guest speaker who is Don Schriver, who happens to be a pretty impressive author on Christian ethics and written books on things like patriotism "Honest Patriots" where he espouses that true patriots recognize the countries misdeeds as well as their heroic deeds. You can imagine he is not universally loved.

Although I didn't get to hear most of his reflection (woman collapsed at church and I had to call an ambulance but that is another story) I did hear his comments on The events of a town called Abbeville in South Carolina. In 1916 there was a black farmer named Anthony Crawford. Quite a successful farmer- born a slave but made good and ended up wealthier than many of the white farmers in Abbeville. Anyway one day he went to town to sell cotton seed - white farmer offered him less than the going rate, Anthony refused to sell. An argument occurred and Anthony was arrested for "insolence" Althogugh he paid his bail as he left the jail a crowd of white men got him beat him to death then hung him on a tree and shot him over 200 times. His family and most of the other black business people (but not the poor workers) were hounded out of town. Terrible story. That was very much hushed up as you can imagine. Apparently in 2005 the pastor at the white Baptist church had been preaching on reconciliation and the church folk talked about the town lynching as being a blot in their history. Long story short the white Baptist church people and the black Baptist church people (note two churches - long way to go before you can call the Southern states integrated) held a joint service where the white community offered a formal apology for the actions of their forebears. The mood in the town was said to have changed form that time.

Now hopefully it won't take 90 years to make apologies for most things but in terms of reconciliation it is a case of " better late than never"