Friday, April 14, 2006

Abe Lincoln on Good Friday

Good Friday. Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre on Good Friday. Lincoln had told his wife that he considered that day the end of the War Between the States, although Robert E. Lee had surrendered a few days before. Lincoln’s nightmare had ended, but for some reason, his role on this earth ended with it.

Do we need to know why such events are connected? We barely know how these events occur. Historians argue over the causes of the Civil War. Generals debate the reasons for success and failure in five years of military battles. Sociologists theorize on the clash between social and economic classes before, during, and after the war that shaped the future of this country. There are even variations to the story of the actual assassination that night: how Booth escaped, what he said to the audience when he jumped to the stage, where he went, how he was caught.

When we try to identify the why, we are probably crossing the line from history into spirituality, religion, and faith. A much longer discussion.

April 14, 1865 was just another day on the Julian calendar. Centuries ago, someone picked it to commemorate the death of a Savior for a large community of Christians. John Wilkes Booth picked it to end the life of the country’s leader.

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