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  • Reverend James Squire

The Larva Dei

Updated: Feb 13, 2021

We are a few days away from the insurrection at our Capitol, the people’s house. Most of the response by media has been focused on Trump, his enablers, those who were injured and died, and what will our political leaders do to hold him accountable. There were pics as well of black people cleaning up the capital and the mess created by this assault on our democracy. That could be a metaphor for racism in America. Once again black people cleaning up the mess of white people.

But there are some others who have been forgotten. What about the families of those who disagreed with their family members being part of this day that will live in infamy or who were simply unaware of their extreme views?

There is the family of the retired Air Force officer from Texas who was seen marching through the aisles of the Senate floor. He was a patriot who had flown missions over Afghanistan. His family watched him descend more and more into the depths of belief in Trump and various conspiracy theories. They were helpless to change this mind.

I watched as the FBI arrested a man involved in the insurrection. As he was led to the car that would take him away, his grandmother followed closely behind. She put her face directly into the camera and with great bitterness and anger said, “Thank you President Trump for inviting my grandson to a riot and now he is being taken away.

The story that hit me the hardest was that of a teenage girl who knew that her mother and aunt would be gone for days and told the young girl that they were just spending time together. The teenage girl watched in horror as her mother and aunt appeared on the footage of those who were taking over the Capitol. There is cruel irony here! When the girl returned from a Black Lives Matter rally, her mother forbade her to go to any other rallies with the words, “You know those people are violent!” The teenage girl turned her mother and aunt into the authorities.

Here is the question! What would I do if I saw one of my sons in that footage? It might destroy my soul! What if it was one of your family members who appeared on the screen attacking the capitol, and you had to watch in helpless fashion of disagreement with their extreme political views?

It was Martin Luther who described family life as the larva dei, the mask of God, where God reveals himself in sacred relationships with one another. When we are praying for our nation, all of those affected by the insurrection, and our political leaders, say a prayer for those families that were not complicit in this, but were helpless to change the heart of a family member who participated in it or simply didn’t know of their plan. Pray for God’s peace which passes human understanding. As you think of the mother and aunt who stormed the capitol, think quickly of the teenage girl who had no say in the matter and watched in horror.

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