It's amazing how the city and its religious communities have pulled together in the wake of the attack. I want to highlight one instance I saw the results of today. Three days after the attack, on the 25th of March, bouquets of flowers began to appear on a strip of lawn in Parliament Square, across the road from the houses of Parliament. Many of the bouquets are accompanied by handwritten notes, and some by poster-sized signs, all expressing love, hope and courage. In the place tourists normally stand to take vacation photos with Big Ben in the background, there's a fitting tribute to the victims and to the city that rallied to their aid, presided over by statuary of the world's greatest and most compassionate leaders.
A photo can't really do justice to the solidarity expressed by thousands, but here's an attempt:
Standing quietly opposite an adjoining edge of Parliament Square is the imposing form of Westminster Abbey, the old Gothic cathedral where England's monarchs are crowned and its royals are wed, and the country mourns the loss of its rulers. It's fair to say that this is the most important religious site in England, so it was with great interest that I read the prayer chiseled into stone near the west side entrance. What plea could be important enough to make so permanent in the base of the cathedral's cross?
A plea for harmony and forgiveness is especially appropriate in the wake of the attack.May God grant to the living, grace; to the departed, rest; to the Church & the World, peace and concord; and to us sinners, eternal life.
One of the greatest things about Christianity is how it equalizes us. All have fallen short. All need forgiveness. Whatever was going through Khalid Masood's mind, he was, like the rest of us, the fatally flawed hero of his own story, and just as deserving of mercy.