He led with grace

Published 8:01 pm Saturday, December 8, 2018

By John Warren

I was surprised to find an invitation in the mail one day years ago.

It reads:  The Committee for The American Bicentennial Presidential Inaugural requests the honor of your presence to attend, and participate in the Inauguration of George Herbert Walker Bush as President of the United States of America and James Danforth Quayle as Vice President of the United States of America on Friday the 20th of January 1989 in the City of Washington.

I didn’t go, but I was impressed that he sought the wisdom of pastors across the country to come and participate.

I have only received this one invitation, and this was my first time in ministry during an Inauguration of a President so I thought this must be what they all do.  Had I known this would never happen again, I may have gone.

We live and learn.

I was impressed with an interview he gave to a reporter not too long ago.  The reporter asked him about being afraid to die.

This is a man whose plane was shot down not once but twice left on a tiny life raft hoping to be picked up by his countrymen rather than the enemy, grieving the loss of his crew, wondering why me?  This was a turning point in Lieutenant George Herbert Walker Bush’s life.  He became a tireless servant of his country.  This is the man who skydived when he turned 80, 85 and 90!

On his deathbed he mouthed the words to Silent Night, his last audible words were “I love you too.”

I hope for our nation that we could be the country that he wished we to be a “kinder, gentler” nation.

Look around you, wouldn’t that be a great change for us?  Well, we can be that.  The secret is that it begins with you.

The way you look at others, the way you speak to one another, the way we care for one another.  It is not too late for us to do that.

Don’t you think this would be pleasing to our God?  And what better time to start than right now, during the Christmas season?  It isn’t just the Christian thing to do it is the humane thing to do, that is to care for one another as if we were brothers and sisters.

As an American, isn’t it time we treated one another as if we were in the same boat rather than ships competing for the same berth?  Love one another.

RIP President George H. W. Bush.


John Warren is Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church, 502 North 6th Street in Orange.