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I live in the mountains of Virginia, the most prominent in our area being “The Priest.” It’s a grand mountain, with startlingly different profiles depending on the direction of view. I often think about The Priest. It is multifaceted, changes with the seasons, and is concurrently beautiful, inspiring, and somewhat dangerous. It represents much of what I have concluded about life.
I used to be the leader of the adult education class in the small mountain church near our house. Because the church was made up of a mixture of mountain and city folk, we would often use The Priest as a metaphor of ourselves—and tried our best to take advantage of the differences in our experiences. We often would struggle to accept each other’s perspectives, but we would always manage to put our differences to the side in deference to the One for Whom we were gathered. Things changed, however, the weekend after 11 September 2001.
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