Terry Waite – envoy and hostage
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On this day in 1991 Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite was released in Lebanon after more than four years in captivity.
Waite, the special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, had earlier secured the release of several other hostages. The man who had once said, “Freeing hostages is like putting up a stage set, which you do with the captors, agreeing on each piece as you slowly put it together; then you leave an exit through which both the captor and the captive can walk with sincerity and dignity,” had suddenly found himself playing a starring part in the drama.
During captivity, Waite said he was frequently blindfolded, beaten and subjected to mock executions. He spent much of the time chained to a radiator, and was transported in a giant refrigerator as his captors moved him about. Since his release, Waite has been active in working for charitable causes and has written books about his experiences. “At the end of the day,” he says, “love and compassion will win.”
Today’s poem is by Richard Lovelace, another man of principle who lived three hundred years before Terry Waite, To Lucasta, on Going to the Wars:
Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind,
To war and arms I fly.
True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.
Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee, Dear, so much,
Loved I not Honour more.
Today I give thanks for all brave men of principle, the world needs them.