The Howes Chapel Jeremiah Window has lots of activity in the small details in the lower left. The primary theme of the window seems to be Jeremiah 39 and following, including the Book of Lamentations which is attributed to Jeremiah as well. In these details, immediately below is the destruction of Jerusalem in 597 B.C. Yet further below we see two figures; one is in pale rose color and the other a person in blue doubled over in anguish. The soldier’s shield is silver and adorned with a beautiful design. But there is little beauty in the story that is being told. Perhaps the man in the rose colored garb is pointing as a way of making his story clear that Judah has fallen into the hands of the Babylonians. The man in blue, unable to bear the terrible pain of the fierce anguish holds his head and weeps. And the prophet, Jeremiah, is shown with a naked foot protruding from his robe. The window invites one into a world of hurt and sorrow.
As we look out of this window into the world of 2011, do we see a different world than Jeremiah saw? We, too, weep over the loss of lives in Afghanistan Iraq, and Libya. We continue to weep over the lack of peace in the Middle East, we cry with all persons who are victims in the ravages of war. For those displaced by war, violence, and disaster, we recall the words of Psalm 137: 4-6, “How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land? If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.”
Garrett-Evangelical prays today, through this window, for all victims of war and violence.
“Almighty God, we pray that all persons who are victims of war ad violence may be comforted in their suffering and made whole. when they are afraid, give them courage; when they feel weak, grant them your strength; when they are afflicted, afford them patience, when they are lost, offer them hope; when they are alone, move us to their side; when death comes, open your arms to receive them in the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.” (Book of Worship, page 621)
By Al Caldwell, Retired Faculty, editor