SHE ANSWERED THE CALL|
By Fred Wickert
To some of us the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. is a national treasure. It is a beautiful structure. I have visited it a few times and each time I feel a sense of awe. It is run by the Episcopal Church. I don’t know how or why that is, but I know it belongs to the nation.
I was appalled a couple of days ago when I learned that on Friday, November 14th something was going to happen there that I felt was wrong. I can to some extent, understand the thinking behind it but I cannot agree with it. I think each reader will have to decide that for themselves.
A large group of Muslims had been invited to come and worship at the National Cathedral. Yes, I can just hear many of you now saying with a gasp, “Say what?” It is true. It was arranged for them to all place their prayer rugs facing Mecca. In this way, the large cross hanging inside was behind them and they did not have to look at it. It seems they have some kind of a hang up about looking at a cross. The event was by invitation only. It was not open to the public.
Someone in the Episcopal group had the idea that it should help the world to see that by having a Muslim prayer service in the National Cathedral, it was to prove to the world that Muslims and Christians could get along together and worship in the same place together. In my view it was a misguided idea but I believe their heart was in the right place. The whole idea bothered me greatly and I was against it, but there was not much I could do about it.
A woman from Michigan named Christine Weick was in Tennessee. She is 50 years of age and has long flowing blond hair. NO! This is not a dumb blond joke. She has been traveling a lot and lives in her SUV. She has some strong Christian beliefs and convictions. Because of her stance against gay marriage, her husband divorced her last year and her two children hate her. It does not matter because she is sticking to her beliefs.
She learned about what was going to happen at the National Cathedral from the Drudge Report. She decided she had to do something about it if she could. She got in her SUV and drove the 400 miles to Washington. She kept wondering how she was going to pull this off. She knew it was not open to the public and by invitation only. How was she going to get in?
As she drove and was running it over and over in her mind, she began to have misgivings. She began to ask herself what she was doing? Was she doing the right thing? Surely she was going to get herself arrested doing this. She prayed, Lord, please give me a sign. Suddenly she saw a woman ahead, pull over and park on the side of the road. The woman got out of her car and as she passed by the woman looked straight at her, smiled and gave the thumbs up sign with both hands at once. Believing her prayer had been answered positively and affirmatively she continued on with renewed conviction.
When she got there she parked her car and got out. She could see that security was heavy. She saw three security guards walking toward the cathedral and she fell in behind them and followed. She followed them from place to place and later fell in beside a woman with press credentials and engaged her in conversation. No one ever questioned her and it was almost as if she was invisible.
She was early and the service would not start for about an hour and a half so she decided to go hide in the ladies room. She practiced over and over what she was going to say when the time came. She was afraid she might freeze up. She prayed for strength and asked for help to see it through.
When she came out of the stall there was a woman at the sink washing her hands. The woman was wearing a press pass on her blouse. Christine Weick asked the woman if she knew what time it was going to start. The woman replied that it was going to start in a few minutes, and then asked her if she knew how to get there. Christine replied that she did not. The woman told her, “follow me and I’ll take you to the front.”
Christine followed the woman who took her right to the front row. They went right past the security people without challenge. When they got to the front row, she thanked the woman and took a seat. She was astonished at what she saw. Men and women were separated. The women were seated on their prayer rugs right in front of her. To her right were seated members of the press with lights, sound equipment and video cameras. The large cross on the wall was behind them and no one seemed to be looking at it. She began to feel nervous and was afraid she couldn’t go through with it. She turned and looked at the cross and she thought she saw the figure of Jesus move across the front of the cross.
Standing in front of the hundred or so people with their prayer rugs stood the Imam with a light shining on him. The Imam spoke and said the call to prayer will begin momentarily. Then he said some words in Arabic.
Scared half out of her skin and praying for strength, Christine Weick stood up. In a loud strong steady voice she began to speak. She did not say the words she had rehearsed so many times in the bathroom stall. Instead she said, “Jesus Christ died on that cross. It is the reason we are to worship only him. We have built enough mosques in this country, why don’t you go worship in one of those mosques and leave our churches alone.”
Immediately voices in the middle of the crowd began calling for security. They called out her description and told security to get her out of here. Two large men in suits grabbed her gently and led her towards the door where they turned her over to a police woman. She in turn led her to some other uniformed policemen outside who in turn led her to the street and released her. When the policeman released her she said, “Have a nice day.” He did not respond but walked away.
The security people and police officers were not rough with her, did not harm her and did not arrest or detain her. They just escorted her out. She got in her SUV and drove back to Tennessee.
The scene was recorded on video and posted on the internet. It is probably still there for any who want to look it up. After being posted on the internet people started calling her a folk hero. When she heard this she is reported to have said she was no hero.
As for me, all I can say is, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I also want to say, THANK YOU Christine Weick!
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