By John James Kirkwood

This is pew #46, where Robert E. Lee used to sit with his daughters at Christ Church in Alexandria Virginia.  It sits just across the aisle from the pew where George Washington had often sat. One day, after the war had ended, General Lee would rise from this pew and demonstrate the strength of true grace.

It was a relatively small church.  The parishioners knew each other quite well.  Or did they?

Families had helped build each other’s houses.  Barn raisings had been a common, even social event.  Their children had courted each other, some having gone on to marriage.  They had stood together and cried together at the gravesides of countless loved ones over the past five years.  They had gone through a most traumatic period as a community.  Now it was time for the healing to begin.

Together in church one day they would be challenged and together most would fail.

Such is the story of human history and sadly of the Body of Christ known to the world as, “the Church.”  Sometimes, there is but one man who has the courage of his convictions, and that sole man’s faithfulness in the heat of battle may melt the hard-hearted and inspire the lesser men around him.

One sunny day in a little Virginian church parishioners gathered to observe what is known in much of Christendom as The Lord’s Supper – the Eucharist.  As the people were about to keep the ritual a young man, a young, “black man” entered from the back and approached the podium to himself partake.

There was a noticeable gasp, an uncomfortable drawn out silence for which even the parson seemed at a loss.  For this was no mere mistake, this was an outright offense.

Did this man not know of his station in life?  How insolent!  He had his own place of worship, a “black” assembly, but this was “ours!”  Something must be done!

Just when it seemed that chaos might break out a distinguished elderly man arose from a middle pew.

Well known and well respected not just in this little Virginia chapel but also in the whole of the Confederacy, even throughout the entire country; he would set things straight.  When he arose there seemed to be a collective sigh of relief, the congregation was able to breathe again and some of the men were eager in their anticipation of the coming “fix.”

Approaching the young man, the young, “black man” whose head was now bowed as he knelt at the altar, the elderly gentleman to the surprise of those assembled took his place next to him.  Next to the “black man.”

Without saying a word, he slowly knelt.  His age and the cost of war made it slow but deliberate, then he looked his parson in the eyes and nodded as if to say, “get on with it,” bowing his head once more to await his turn.

It may have shocked some in attendance, though they’d never challenge their hero about this in public or in private.  It most certainly shocked the young man who, rightly or wrongly, decided to interrupt a church service to make a statement.

The parson began the ritual and the young man, (who never really was that young, “black man” but a fellow believer, even a brother in Christ), was allowed to partake.

As the old man took the wafer, another man rose and slowly made his way to the front, and then another followed by yet another.

Not because of the will of the people or the wisdom of the parson but because of the courage of one old man what could have turned into a terrible wrong was made right, the wind and the waves rebuked.

It would have been very easy for the old man to stay in his seat, they were his friends, they were his family, and he was their hero.  The peer pressure must have been overwhelming, but he did the right thing.  He did the hard thing.

A few years earlier on another battlefield this “old man” faced the pressure of another battle with an overwhelming enemy.  Outnumbered nearly three to one, poorly supplied and facing the annihilation of his army he had to make another hard choice.  Surely the easy thing to do would be to retreat, fight the battle another day or at least dig in and let someone else take the initiative, but not he.  He did the hard thing, what many would call the impossible: he attacked and he won.

Many may know what General Robert E. Lee achieved at Chancellorsville in early May of 1863 but only a few of what he accomplished in that little Virginia chapel after the war had ended.

Some say that bravery in the face of the enemy is the highest and most honorable of virtues.  Others would argue that it is the courage one must muster in the face of friends, family and peers when those dearest to you are out of line.  That is the epitome of valor!

Hollywood loves the charged ending with a charismatic character in righteous indignation calling down fiery condemnation on those in the wrong – a scorched earth campaign like Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men or Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.  Sadly, in the face of unrepentant sin, this is sometimes necessary.  But notice the grace bestowed by the good general: grace to a young black man with an agenda, grace to a hesitant, paralyzed parson, but most of all, grace to the stilted crowd.

There was no condemnation here, no presumption about their character.  The old general simply did the right thing and led by example, and he did it in a manner so as to give those in his company an “out” so that they too could join him in victory.

This is noble!  This is magnanimous!  This is the heart of true, Christian courage!

*To find out more about the inspiring life of Robert E. Lee, read R.E. Lee: A Biography by Douglas Southall Freeman (preferably the 4 volume set)


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  2. A cushiy is a cushiy not any other definition.G-d is not interested to separate Israel from the goyim by denomination of “color” but by faith, love and holiness. Moshe’s marrying a cushiy yes could have been by military or political expediency, or by moral necessity, or by direct dictate from Hashem (peh el peh adaber bo -v. 12:8); but one thing clear to stand out after our speculations is this: Moshe married a cushiy –that is clear from Torah.Where the rabbis Rashi, Sorotzkin & Rashbam vary from each other, we are ever admonished to return to Torah.Shabbat shalom.

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  9. the Passion was Gibson’s attempt to redeem himself for making Bird on a Wire. I thought the Passion was well made and incredibly moving, but perhaps did not go into enough background detail for a non-christian to understand it as being about redemption.

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  15. The fake SSN, in my opinion, is far more damning than the BC issue.Thanks to the Faux News shrills who are now on the wrong side, this issue is as buried as the fake BC.I simply can't believe this whole charade is being allow to continue.God help us all.

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  20. I don’t really do snacks – if I’m hungry, I make it a meal. One of my favourites is quark with fruit and nuts. I usually have 4 (big) meals in the day, as eating very little meals (snacks) only makes me hungrier.

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  23. From Halloween forward the New Years eve and day the assumption is that we are all supposed to be happy and great things are headed our way and that is all a bunch of BS. The highest suicide rate is after New Years. This is due to false expectations and loneliness.

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  28. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

  29. Ops… Il mio commento è stato pubblicato “ad minchiam”. Era riferito alla credibilità di Lilin, che negli ambienti al quale si rivolge non è molto amato. Una sorte di teppista tatuatore riformista, non so se mi spiego…

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  32. “What’s wrong with the person who thinks he is rejected saying, “I was wrong. I’m sorry that I perceived you as rejecting me when it was not true.” If the “rejected” person holds to that feeling when it’s not true, he is not right.”I wasn’t saying whether the rejected person is right or wrong…I was just defining rejection in the context of David’s cartoon. If a person feels rejected, then he feels like a target. He can feel very alone in a room full of people.

  33. phantastisch hinreissend schlicht asiatisch und darin ohne wenn und aber asientreu.nur das dessert mit geschmacklichem pomp, also so leckere krapfen hatte ich noch nie.und die brombeeren,,,mhmhmh die beiden rezepte hätte ich doch gerne.zu deinem weihnachts und auch sonst gästinnenkreis zu gehören ist vermutlich kurz vorm paradies.

  34. sunt o fata de 17 ani si as vrea sa stiu daca exista ceva pentru indepartarea firelor de par de pe facta….va rog astept un raspuns…chiar nu stiu ce sa mai fac

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  38. Guys, if you put some sort of name on the front of your comments we can work out which reply goes to who.Otherwise it gets messy and hard to read.Come on, we’re supposed to be in the communication business.Don’t just sign it anonymous.

  39. >>This article claims that this season is actually animated by Doumo It’s still by asread. Though there are rumours that they have some Doumo animators. >>I don’t really care about the animation, but I’d like to know if Okaeri is funnier than Okawari.Uhh… it seems better.>>I’m like a politician!You voted for it before you voted against it D:>>I complained. Sorry sensei!I’d just like it if people weren’t so quick to HATE, you know?

  40. Dear Abdel Wassim El Whani,My family doesn’t have many euros and i’d like items but i havent for ever because it’s too expensive for my parents ….Can you help me please ?Contact me on my mail : thank youI’m sorry for my bad english i’m frenchSincerely, Valentin 15 years old

  41. Je crois que monsieur Dan29000 n’a pas compris que le Jura lib condamne (ou se moque) de ce genre de “reportage”. Peut-être n’a-t-il pas vu les guillemets où a-t-il simplement lu trop vite.Dans le cas contraire, je suis d’accord pour dire que la remarque n’a aucun sens.

  42. What a stunning wedding. You looked absolutely gorgeous. Thanks so much for the UStream. Was much fun watching my first “online” wedding. Great idea! Enjoy the honeymoon.

  43. Mollie R.January 13, 2012Thanks for the shout, Katie! We were so excited to get a credit in Cosmo. The bow adds a good touch of femininity and glamour to the look for sure.

  44. "all gun owners"Just wait until mobile phones are implantable.Now why would you worry about that? it's for your own benefit… and other such lies.

  45. Hrmm that was weird, my comment got eaten. Anyway I wanted to say that it’s nice to know that someone else also mentioned this as I had trouble finding the same info elsewhere. This was the first place that told me the answer. Thanks.

  46. I hear ya Matt! Been on this journey for over 10 years now and it just keeps getting better and better.I too am “on my way” but I also have come to realize I will never “get there”. It’s all about the journey itself. Since I started to understand that I make sure I build in more fun along the way!

  47. The same evidence might be taken to mean that poverty is the cause of poor student performance. (The test would be to see how poor kids do in well funded schools)

  48. Omg If I was there in the room and i was hidingnsomebwhere and there doing that to you i will really get like say omg wat the heck is wong with you you ugly girl but im not gonna say that cause there gonna hit me O.O and me no likey…….

  49. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that too few people are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy that I stumbled across this in my hunt for something regarding this.

  50. Doufejme,že US bude v tomto trendu pokračovat, opravdu už mÄ› nebaví zkoumat, zda náhodou zákon o odpadech či jiná obdobná norma nemobsahuje nÄ›jakou skrytou novelu tÅ™eba zákoníku práce. Myslím, že zásada “neznalost práva neomlouvá” byla v tom českém zmatku naprosto neaplikovatelná. I když snÄ›movna je občas velmi plodná a US má na práci i jiné vÄ›ci, tak snad si toho ve snÄ›movnÄ› vÅ¡imnou a tÅ™eba zmÄ›ní jednací řád …

  51. Tack för detta! Är själv hemma med en tremÃ¥naders baby som helammas och var lite sur och avis över att missa bästisgängets drink-&filmkväll i fredags… Misstänker att blahniks och Mr Big int skulle lyckas med att fÃ¥ bort tankarna frÃ¥n babyn i över tvÃ¥ timmar.

  52. Hej soliga söndag!Efter haft sjukstuga nÃ¥gra dagar, otroligt trÃ¥kigt, kan jag rekommendera c- vitamin intag! Tänkte själv göra fräch fruktsallad i veckan med vindruvor, melon av olika sorter, apelsin, passionsfrukt, päron, äpple… med vaniljvisp och strössla solroskärnor över (efterson vi är nötallergiger). Ha en bra dag. Elinor i VÃ¥rgÃ¥rda

  53. it depends on what property of light the experiment is set up to this situation, light will act as a wave, because that is what you are detecting, its wave-like properties as it moves through the glass.if you set up an experiment to detect its particle-like properties, thats what you will get.

  54. “It’s a shame no one is interested in talking about the massive demonstration held in TA by Jews demanding a state for the Palestinians and saying that they don’t agree with Netanyahu’s position. 10,000 Israeli Jews demonstrating on behalf of Palestinians is really something special.”Give them a cookie for marching. But until they storm government offices, take over the government and make it happens, or vote the current crop of criminals out, it’s nice but means nothing. They’re still going to send their kids to go murder more Arabs, if they, themselves, arent’ going to go do it.

  55. All of the people singing Your love is strong right along with Jon, is exactly why I must go to an after show! Its just amazing to see complete strangers singing such a beautiful song together.

  56. Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated information, nonetheless truly worth taking a look, whoa did 1 understand about Mid East has got extra problerms at the same time

  57. Omg! Is that Crowley with makeup, styled hair, and a "business lady" blazer, accessorized with beads even? If that's her, then she should do that every time she goes on air. That is what a polished, professional cable news woman/talking head is supposed to look like. They don't have to be pretty (unless they want a gig at Fox News), but they shouldn't look like they just rolled out of bed, either.

  58. Of course there are different safety issues if I upload a something filmed at home, compared to a film taken on holiday at a well known site, e.g. Niagara Falls, or the Eiffel Tower.

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