Skip to main content

Sent to Coventry

There is an expression here in England that "I've been sent to Coventry."  It means that you have been banished and nobody is speaking to you, probably as a result of something you did to get on their wrong side.  It results in being treated as if you can't be seen or heard, even though you are very present.  

The story is that during the Civil War (the British one, not the American one) Cromwell sent a group of Royalist soldiers to be imprisoned in Coventry in 1648.  The locals, who were Parliamentary supporters, refused to speak to or have anything to do with these Royalists.  For more information on this expression see here.

John and his fellow OCMS students went on an outing to Coventry and I got to go along.  I wasn't really sent to Coventry, though, as we had an enjoyable time with the group.  Why Coventry?

Coventry is most famous for its two cathedrals, side by side.  Coventry was a target of the Germans because it was an industrial center.  The old cathedral was bombed by the Germans in World War II.  All that was left were the outside walls, the spire, and the floor.
  John and I climbed up in the spire (for a small fee).  It was quite the climb on a spiraled staircase that went straight up!  Fortunately there was a railing -- one of my recurring nightmares has to do with falling down stairs or off ladders!-- so I'm ok if I can hang on. The view from the top was worth the climb.  Here is a picture looking down into the bombed out cathedral.
As you can see, it was a rainy day (and very cold!) so we didn't linger in places like we would have had it been warm.  But here are a few of the things we saw:

In two of these pictures it looks like the windows have glass in them, but it is really the glass windows in the new cathedral which is just beside the old one.

After the cathedral was bombed, somebody (I'm not sure who....) wrote on the wall "Father Forgive".  There were two charred beams which were tied together to form a cross and Coventry Cathedral became a place of reconciliation.  It is important to note that the words weren't "Father forgive them", but "Father Forgive".  The decision to rebuild was made the morning after the bombing, not as an act of defiance, but as a sign of faith, trust, and hope for the future of the world.  This statue depicts reconciliation and there is a similar statue in the Peace Garden in Hiroshima, Japan.

Each Friday at noon the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation is said in the ruins.  It is so appropriate for Easter so I thought I'd share it:
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class, 
Father forgive.

The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
Father forgive.

The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Father forgive.

Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Father forgive. 

Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
Father forgive.

The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
Father forgive.

The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Father forgive.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.

I'm so glad for Easter, for Christ's death on the cross, for His forgiveness of all my sins.  This was a great reminder that all sins need to be forgiven not just horrendous ones like bombings.  I am no better than a murderer or a bank robber or anybody else.  I need to be forgiven just like those who commit atrocities need to be forgiven.   


Mommy Becoming said…
VERY nice message in this post. And lovely photos.
podso said…
I'm really enjoying all your English posts! Thanks.

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

2016 in Review

Let's take a look at the year 2016.

January's big events were the dedication of the Tamajaq New Testament, our annual Spiritual Life Conference, helping friends find a house, a trip to visit missionaries in the bush, attended a big wedding, and celebrated John's birthday. It was a pretty busy month.  My January picture is from our trip to the bush and shows baobab trees.  

February was a little less crazy.  John started taking moolo lessons.  February is the time of year when the fresh fruits and veggies are in season so I did a lot of work to freeze veggies for the hot months ahead.  This picture isn't terribly exciting, but a year after the church burnings this church we helped plant back in 1989 finally had a new ceiling and a fresh coat of paint.

In March we attended another big wedding, froze more veggies, celebrated Easter, and visited a church in another town.  John and I have visited a lot of churches in the past three years as he has done research for his doctora…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.

While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…