Stained glass revealed a peculiar sight

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Sitting in church on Sunday, the sunshine hit the stain-glassed windows at Trinity Episcopal Church in the most peculiar fashion.

Having visited the church several times, whether for worship, work or others, I’ve always noticed the radiant colors of the windows.

Last week, the church held a Blue Sunday service to honor Atmore and Poarch first responders. The annual service is held the Sunday prior to Sept. 11, in commemoration of first responders’ service to the community.

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As the service went along, my eye was drawn to the green parts of the stain-glassed windows.

I tried to figure out what they are, and my mind went straight to the olive branch. I wondered if they were actual olive branches.

Then, I thought about peace and how it has changed parts of this world that we live.

The Rev. Jeffrey Jencks gave the sermon for the service. He talked about his time as a chaplain in Baghdad, Iraq, and recalled a story about the use of a water buffalo.

Jencks said he knew of a Rabbi that would wash his hands before meals, as is tradition.

His commanding officer, a general, ordered Jencks to ask the Rabbi to quit washing his hands from the buffalo, as it was a waste of water.

Jencks said he prayed about what to do. So, one day, or night, Jencks went and spoke with the Rabbi, asking about his traditions.

Jencks said he was so moved from the Rabbi’s prayers, that he asked that the Rabbi wash his hands from Jencks’ own water jug.

Traditions were a big part of the sermon as was the recognition of the first responders.

Usually, after the service, a potluck lunch is held for those visiting officers.

During the meal, I thought about what Jencks said about the water buffalo, and later his remarks on what first responders go through on a daily basis.

When on call, a first responder must go to the scene of an accident, fire or some scene. This is a common occurrence.

I thought about how their training must kick in when they arrive on scene. That’s how they confront these situations. For that, I’m thankful.

Then, it all came around to me.

Like the Rabbi, the first responders’ training kicks in in certain situations, as does the Rabbi’s when he gets ready for a meal.

It’s tradition.