JULY 29, 2020: IN MEMORY OF JOHN LEWIS
This week we lift up in prayer and admiration civil rights leader John Lewis – a man of hope, and faith, and love, and forgiveness.
My thanks to a special friend who reminded me of Reinhold Niebuhr’s grace-filled words:
Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime;
therefore we must be saved by hope.
Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
therefore we must be saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone;
therefore we must be saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint;
therefore we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.
Despite all the brutal violence that he endured in his fight for justice and equality, John Lewis believed in the power of forgiveness and reconciliation.
He also believed in the youth of today, and our very own Covenant House young people. He saw goodness and promise in each of their faces. John Lewis stood with them in their struggles to heal from their own years of abuse, violence and trauma.
John Lewis understood that we are all children of God: our Covenant House young people, the young people he marched with sixty years ago, and even those that mercilessly attacked them.
In the midst of these frightening and challenging times, our nation will truly miss the faith-filled, courageous leadership of John Lewis.