Choose your words carefully if you preach to the people back home. Those who knew you will remember things that make many messages seem odd. Prophetic moralizing, for example, would sound hypocritical coming from most folks in such circumstances.
Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Memorial, was explaining to a TV interviewer why her remarkable work has come to have such a strong grip upon the emotions of the American people. “It’s the names,” she said, “the names are the memorial.
At every wedding we wait for the moment when we witness a bride and groom vow faithfulness to each other “‘til death us do part.” We think when we hear those words, or even more when we speak them ourselves, that death will come to visit much later, at some far distant boundary of a marital union begun today with such promise.
This has to be the censored version! What parents would leave a crowded city—one that was not their home—and journey a whole day without noting that their child was missing? Today they would be charged with child neglect.
Back in 1994 TV viewers all over the world watched transfixed, as South Africa’s first democratically elected president took the oath of office. While a dignified Nelson Mandela addressed the heads of state, many viewers wondered about the man dressed in leopard skins, standing directly behind him with a little flag stuck quaintly in his headgear.