As promised, I will reveal the PIRATES connection which darted into my thinking as I focused on my daughter's wedding, after researching my favorite Yo-Yo Ma music, created for the movie, The Mission. All the swashbuckling adventures and stories of repentance and redemption caused my mind to ponder a recent visit to the Museum of Natural Science, and the fascinating special exhibit, "Real Pirates!"
Real Pirates! is the world's first exhibition of pirate treasure, recovered nearly 300 years after the slave ship, (slavery being another link to The Mission story) which turned pirate ship, the Whydah, sunk off the coast of Cape Cod in 1715. From a huge treasury stash of gold and silver pieces of eight, to the ship's bell, the artifacts from the Whydah are amazing.
However, to me, the best part was the compelling stories of the people involved. A study into why a person would enter a pirate's life is much like a study into the street gangs today. A sense of "belonging" was a huge draw to men... and women... who were without purpose and meaningful relationships.
I LOVE TO LOOK FOR GOD'S HAND IN HISTORY. It is HIS-STORY, after all!
Only nine members of the Whydah's crew survived the storm and wrecking. Of those, seven were sentenced to be hanged in Boston. Before that took place, the pirates were visited by Christians, one of them the famous Puritan preacher, Cotton Mather. Concerned for their eternal souls, he prayed with the pirates and counseled them, calling them to repentance and trust in God's mercy, which would result in the ability to face God... and face death... without fear.
In Cotton Mather's own words, “these Poor Men…Dyed with such Expressions of Repentance, as were greatly to the Satisfaction of the Spectators.” (Williams, “Puritans,” 237)
And so, this little brain dance comes to a halt. It all started while listening to one beautiful piece of music... and concluded with pirates on death row.
You know what? There is another dance warming up within my gray cells. Do you know how difficult it is to fall asleep with a cha-cha-cha clicking around in your head?