TCCW Reflections

It has been an incredible couple of weeks since the Truth Commission on Conscience in War, and I still don’t think I have fully recuperated from everything that has been going on.  Recuperate because my energy was just completely depleted; intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

Don’t get my wrong, though, it was one of the best string of days possibly in my life so far; from the therapeutic value I got from being a testifier, to the stimulating conversations that began the following day with commissioners and fellow seminarians, and finally the vocational reinforcement from wrestling between Duke and Yale divinity schools, intensively discerning how the next three years of my life will play out.

If there is anything to be said of the last three weeks or so, it is “thanks be to God.”  It has not been an easy time, but friends and family have reassuringly confirmed so many awesome things.  The Spirit has definitely been moving in my life lately, and it has me really excited.

At the TCCW, it was clear that the event would prove to be a unique cultural placemarker.  It is not so obvious yet, but those that were there commented openly (and repetitively) that there was an incredible kind of authority present amongst us as we prophetically and pastorally inaugurated much needed dialogue on conscience and war.

I remember sitting in the choir stands, behind the podium, and finding myself a bit tickled that two of the wood angels carved into the railing opposite my chair were looking directly at me as I waited my turn to speak.  One was a worker, with a hammer and chisel in hand, the other a shepherd.  Both seemed to peer interrogatively at me, wondering what morsels I might have to offer.  I hope that, after having listened as solemnly as those present in the pews did, their anxious ears found some measure of satisfaction.

It was beyond an honor to have been offered the opportunity to be in the same space where MLK gave his first speech against war in Vietnam.  Was it that the stars have aligned that the very day he gave that speech, the same day he was murdered one year later, fell this year on Easter Sunday, the most holy of holidays in the Christian year?

The next day, in the commissioners meeting, I found my intellect being engaged as wonderfully as my spirit had the evening prior, my mind swelling in rhythm with my beating heart.  After forging some impressive ground in sessions with admirable and impressively credentialed folks, I had the opportunity to connect with other seminarians.  In equally engaging conversations, I was privileged to some invaluable insight in my discernment on theological education.  Mastercard commercials have nothing on the pricelessness of the guidance and encouragement I got from the many and varied discussions I enjoyed over the last several weeks.  If divinity school even comes close to the conversational caliber I have experienced in the last month, I can happily report that heaven will have successfully broken forth into at least my own little world.

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