Tuesday, July 2, 2013

More Manifestations of Mercy's Law

Murphy's law, of course, states that "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong", sometimes with the addendum that Murphy was actually an optimist.

But upon returning home today from a July 1-2 birthday getaway with Alma Jean at Gettysburg, I'm ready to make a case for what I call Mercy's Law, the antithesis of the above.

I chose to go to Gettysburg for my little birthday trip this year because I love history, am drawn to learning from historical horribles that should be avoided at all costs (like the slave trade, wars and holocausts) and because I hadn't been there for quite some time.

It was my son-in-law in Rochester, NY, who urged me to use to reserve our motel room ASAP. They were all prohibitively expensive, and I realized that July marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and that meant thousands of other folks would be there as well. Fortunately we were able to book one of the few rooms left at the large Eisenhower Hotel and Conference Center just a few miles south of the battle sites, and at a considerable saving.

I note the following other signs of mercy:

1. The room and service were wonderful, and considering the convenience of the location, a bargain compared to most of the motels in the area.

2. The timing of the trip was amazing. With no special forethought on our part, we just happened to be at Gettysburg on the 150th anniversary of the actual first and second days of this horrific three-day battle. There were displays, demonstrations and book signings that wouldn't have been there on just any summer visit.

3. I had read online about a Monday evening civil war lecture I thought would be interesting, to be given by a Professor Michael Gray of East Stroudsburg University, but no time or location was given. It so happened that Dr. Gray's talk was not only free, but was in the Robert E. Lee Room of the very hotel we were staying ;-).

4. The weather was overcast and not uncomfortably hot, with almost no rain and no sunburn, all of which made walking a pleasure.

5. The most expensive attraction, by choice, was a $11.50 senior ticket to the new National Park Museum with its 42-foot-high, newly-conserved, circular Cyclorama, a truly amazing and massive painting with lighting and sound effects that surrounded you with all of the noise, mayhem and conflagration of Pickett's Charge.

If an experience like this wouldn't make you want to work ever harder to help prevent every kind of violence and war possible, nothing but the grace of God and the cross-bearing example of Jesus could do so.

And speaking of Murphy's Law, the battles at Gettysburg are proof that as long as humans keep choosing insane and inhumane strategies to gain their ends, anything that can go wrong will indeed go wrong, and at a terrible cost.

For another lament about this most uncivil war, check out this link.
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