The Living Church online reported today a remarkable incident in which Archbishop Desmond Tutu, while in Seattle to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Cathedral, was handed three bullets by a man who came up to him and talked to him as he was leaving a reception with the Dean, Robert Taylor.
The article is short, and good.
What struck me as so remarkable, and yet somehow so very much like Archbishop Tutu, is that he talked with the man, received the bullets from him, calmly handed them to the Dean and continued on his way.
Nothing is reported about what the man said to the Archbishop, but the act of handing over the bullets says a lot.
I am thankful that the encounter included this exchange, and I hope the police take this exchange into account in their resolution of the matter with the man who reportedly had been convicted in the past of a felony.
More, I am thankful that the Archbishop was there with Dean Taylor, who as we recall was one of the candidates for bishop in the diocese of California, and gay. Originally from South Africa, Dean Taylor is a close friend of the Archbishop. The celebration of the Cathedral's life might have been wonderful in itself, but the Archbishop's visit at this time was no doubt an profound sign of support of for a good friend.
Chalk it up to a good thing about the Anglican Communion that the support between two Anglican friends in these times, wrenchingly violent to the integrity and personhood of so many, also brought, even for a moment, the encounter with another, perhaps not of this fold, beyond the edges of possible violence.
It was a moment of peaceful interchange and of grace. May the Archbishop, the Dean and the unnamed man all find that moment one of surprise and joy.