Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kemble's Gospel

I would like to bring my own experience in connection with the martyrdom of St. John Kemble in order to draw out something about tobacco. The first time I smoked a cigarette was while walking across the country spreading the gospel of life with Crossroads (http://www.crossroadswalk.org/). It was while walking this pilgramage that I saw smoking used as a means to spread the gospel. I remember one occasion specifically. 

We were praying outside of an abortion clinic. Our two sidewalk counselors were having difficult time getting people to stop and talk to them. We all had the blah feeling that you get in your stomach while you're out there. At one point a woman came out to smoke a cigarette. One of the guys who was with us went over and also lit up. She started talking to him just because he was smoking. She had brought her friend in to have an abortion that day. He talked with her for quite a while and by the end she was trying to talk her friend out of the abortion. Although her friend continued on and had the abortion, we were able to give her friend information about post-abortion counseling. 

I find it remarkable that smoking can bring together people with very different ideas. I love the image of St. John Kemble, not just forgiving his enemies (defined as those who were going to kill him), but even enjoying their company over a pipe in his last minutes. Most people would rather curse those who had come to hang them. 

This pipe was my second briar, it was a fun pipe to make. the lip is natural color,  and the body a one step red mahogany stain. 

The stems on all of these pipes have started out as unfinished, preformed vulcanite stems. I take the stem sand it, modify any of the form I want to change, and then I polish them with a compound called tripoli.

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