The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Through Emma's eyes

We glimpse a glorious world

And then there was Emma. We met in York, England, outside the cathedral walls. With 12 other travelers, I was nearing the end of a two-week pilgrimage to Celtic Christian sites in Scotland and Northumberland. Though the trip had been wonderful, I was pretty much “churched out” by then and chose to spend the day out among the city’s people and places rather than within the cathedral walls.

Detail of stained glass at York Minster cathedral in York, England.
Detail of stained glass at York Minster cathedral in York, England.
Sally, another “pilgrim,” and I walked the day away, exploring the ancient city. After we’d repeatedly passed by lovely, horse-drawn open carriages, we decided to have a ride.

At the carriage station across from the cathedral, a driver opened the door and we climbed in. Sitting gratefully, we fell into quiet conversation as we waited for our carriage to fill. Conversation stopped when we noticed the driver lifting a girl about 8 years old up onto his seat. Then into the carriage came a mum and dad, with a blond sprite who had the features of a child with Down syndrome. We began to talk with the parents who told us her name was Emma and she was 4 years old.

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February issue


Embracing diversity