Saturday, 14 August 2010

Swords into Ploughshares

A visit to the Royal armoury today in Leeds was definitely an experience. I have seen the signs for this tourist attraction for many years and never real gave it much thought as somewhere I would go. Today it all changed when our daughter Jo and husband Simon suggested Al and I go with them.
I expected it to be exhibitions in an old building possibly even a castle; it was neither. The building was a beautiful modern structure sitting next to the Leeds Liverpool canal set over 5 floors. The entrance was impressive as you could look up to walkways making it a beautiful airy light space. The atrium where the stairs were was filled with swords and suits of armour which was breathtaking. It struck me that it was a display of beauty out of weapons of destruction. A verse came to mind from the Bible as I looked around the displays and looked at the thousands of years of our history where weapons and battles played so a major part in all parts of our world. The earliest documented history of fighting was 10,000 years ago, 10,000 years of war! It made me feel so sad that man’s ingenuity was put into designing armour, swords, guns and weapons of destruction. The beauty of the design on some of the armour was again a work of art, but these things were never meant to be worn and admired on a cat walk but to be a protection for the wearer who would be set on defeating and killing their enemies.
There is one area given over to the problem of guns and knives and shows the very sad story of Danny Regan a known drug dealer from Leeds who was shot in 2002. His mother Pat started an organisation ‘mothers against violence’ and worked bringing the display together in the museum. They even have the scene of his death displayed as a ‘scene of crime’. The biggest sadness is then the death of Pat herself killed very sadly by her own grandson. I prayed as we came to the end of our tour this verse that had been playing on my mind whilst walking round the impressive display.

Micah 4 v 3
He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

Beverley Molineaux

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