As the announcement first came on the radio, then the picture on Facebook, of the white smoke, a pope is elected. Right now, the name has been not revealed, as the cardinal steps out of his red and clothes himself all in white. Soon, he will enter the balcony, so the world will know the leader of the Roman Catholic church.
I think of another announcement when I was in high school. A brief reign ended abruptly by death commenced the voting process again. The new pope brought joy to my friend. She phoned me spurting out that this pope was Polish. She had Polish pride and this day bolstered her even higher.
I was thrilled for her. I remember Pope John Paul II with his gentle smile from his spirit. That pope inspired many in the world, even those who were not Roman Catholic.
And on this late winter day, I also think how that Pope suffered a shooting. We thrilled because he forgave the gunman. He seemed to embody the attitude of Christ.
The Pope carries great reverence to millions of people. Being a protestant, this devotion and awe is somewhat hard to feel. I hear it when my Roman Catholic friends and relatives speak with that appeal in their voice, similar to British subjects' wonder at their Queen.
The Pope is a man, but he has a weighty responsibility. I pray for this man, whoever he may be. Lord protect him, guide him with wisdom to lead the largest denomination of Christianity.