Monday, April 02, 2007
Another Good Friday
Well, here we are in the home stretch, awaiting the grande finale. It's Holy Week. This week we contemplate as we walk with Jesus in His final days.
Not really final, though, as it turned out.
I've been reading about Abrahan Lincoln again. I have never been able to determine what made me into a Lincoln fanatic, but I can't get enough of reading about Honest Abe....although I'm not sure how honest he really was. He was a great manipulator. But then he was rather honest about that.
The book I'm reading, "Manhunt", is actually about the 12 day search for John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators, so it covers not only the final days of Lincoln, but also the final days of the famous handsome actor.
Like Jesus on Palm Sunday, Lincoln was having a happy time just before his assassination. The war was over, he was newly inaugurated, he had some free time to spend with his wife and he was off to see a play. He gave a happy speech to a hopeful nation from a window in the White House because everyone loved him so much they yelled for him to come out and say a few words.
Unfortunately, Mr. Booth heard the speech in which Mr. Lincoln mentioned that he was feeling so good that he might just grant citizenship to the Negroes. Mr. Booth, who had planned to kidnap Mr. Lincoln while the war was still on, had abandoned his hair brained scheme because the war had ended and all was lost. The speech put him right over the edge. Worse than you feel when people insist on burying St. Joseph upside down to sell their house.
Not that there was anything he could do about it. That is, until the morning of April 14th when he stopped by Ford's theater to pick up his mail. He just happened to overhear that the Lincolns would be attending the play that night.
April 14th, 1865 was Good Friday.
Poor Mr. Lincoln. Had he been a Catholic he wouldn't have been at the theater on Good Friday and he might still be with us.
He probably is still with us. Abe Lincoln's funeral lasted for weeks because his body was sent by train from Washington to Springfield Illinois. The train stopped everywhere so a grieving nation could pay tribute. As a result, the Great Emancipator was embalmed over and over again.
Anyhow, whenever I read about the final days before a tragedy, I am always struck by the little things that could have been, things that would have averted the whole mess. If only Lincoln had been Catholic. If only he had leaned over the railing of his theater box an inch more, Booth would have missed. If only Mr. Booth had skipped picking up his mail that day....
As a child I always felt the same way about the last days of Christ. I wished Jesus and Mr. Lincoln had each died a peaceful death as an old, old man. I thought Jesus could have just gone ahead and risen after that. Why not? Well, we know why not.
I think I might be delirious from fasting. At least I didn't throw Jesus into the Lincoln/Kennedy assassination comparison. Both Lincoln and Jesus died on Good Friday. Both were Great Emancipators....I better have some lunch.