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We are in this together despite differences

About a year ago, Egypt was erupting with many wanting change.
One reporter observed that during the upheaval there was a group of Coptic Christians standing guard for a small group of Muslims while they were praying.
Later, these same Muslims stood guard around the Christians’ church while they held services.
As one reporter began investigating why they were doing this, the participants stated, “We are all Egyptians now!”
While the government and its followers have been harassing Christians since then, there still exists a deep desire for unity among the population at large, regardless of differences.
In America, people who study these things have noted that the division between Americans today is as stark as it was in the 1850s when events leading up to the Civil War were coalescing.
This should be of concern to us because, as Abraham Lincoln noted, “a house divided cannot stand.”
This brings to mind a story told by Paul Fink, a historian who wrote many books about the history of Jonesborough.
During the Civil War, Mr. Dillworth and Mr. Mason lived in adjacent townhomes, part of which is still standing at 210 E. Main St.
They became great friends.
However, as the tensions grew at the start of the Civil War, one became a staunch supporter of the southern cause, the other just as adamant about the northern position.
While their dwellings were designed and built as two separate townhomes, the attic was open, allowing access to either home.
As the war progressed, the control of Jonesborough changed hands from north to south several times.
When this occurred, the occupying troops would often confiscate valuables from those supporting the “enemies,” that is those civilians who supported the opposite side of the occupying force.
As the occupying force changed, these men would transfer their valuables to the home of the person supporting the occupying army to avoid having them confiscated. This was done several times throughout the war.
As stark as their political differences were, they never let that override their friendship, which lasted until their deaths, after which they were buried side by side in the historic cemetery in Jonesborough.
With the political spectrum starkly divided these days, a look back at how these men would not let their friendship be overridden by issues of the day is appropriate.
It was a time when families became eternally divided and actually fought against each other on the battlefield.
But these two men, who disagreed sharply on the issues, found a way to hold on to a friendship through it all.
This example serves as a great reminder that we are, in fact, all in this together.
Our faith, family, and friendships are vital to holding America together, regardless of our differences.