The Crack in the Liberty Bell

 

In Philadelphia, birthplace of the constitution, home of Ben Franklin, there is the Liberty Bell, a cherished, close to holy relic of our story. In the Liberty Bell there is a crack, a large, long crack. It has its special significance. It speaks out a truth. It is a revelation. What does it reveal? One response can be this: it reveals we are very far from a perfect union.

In fact, this land of liberty throughout its whole story has been and is riddled with flaws, contradictions, tragedies, and crimes against our striving to reach the promised land, the beloved community, a fair and vital society of free, healthy human beings, respecting and supporting one another, working together, inclusive of all the wide diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and persuasions. At this moment in the story the crack in the Liberty Bell can feel like a deep wound, that is not healed, that is open and raw.       

But the crack in the Liberty Bell could be revealing something more. Two weeks ago the songwriter, Leonard Cohen, died. In his song,”Anthem,” the chorus sings,

                                                     Ring the bells that still can ring.

                                                  Forget your perfect offering.

                                                  There is a crack, a crack, in everything.

                                                  That’s how the light gets in.

                                                  That’s how the light gets in.

It is a trembling, yet amazing thought—-IT IS WHERE THERE IS A WOUND, A FRACTURE, A BROKEN HEART WHERE THERE IS TRESPASS, VIOLATION, BETRAYAL- THERE IS CHRIST.

May we be there too. We can forget our perfect offering. We can be who we are, with all our flaws and weaknesses. But just be there: present, conscious, standing, living, working, celebrating there. With HIM. IN THE LIGHT.      

by Richard Dancey 

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