Yesterday, after visiting the churches related to St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco and venerating his incorrupt relics, we were hosted for dinner at the Church of the Redeemer. The Church of the Redeemer is a mostly Arabic community near San Francisco that was fire bombed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. An eye for an eye, I guess. Or maybe not.
The Church was completely burned to the ground, and when the priest was allowed to look through the charred remains to see if anything could be salvaged, he found the burnt Gospel book, the gold cover melted off, but with the unburnt words of Jesus clearly visible: “You have heard it said, ‘an eye for and eye…But I say to you.”
The Church of the redeemer community refused to give in to bitterness. Rather, they prayed and worked hard to rebuild their Church. Below is a picture of the same burnt bible that now sits encased in glass in the narthex of the new Church.