the first day of hope

Advent embodies 4 themes. Hope, Love, Joy and Peace will guide my writing each day in this season. This week, we will tune our hearts to hope.

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img_7666There are very few things in life that I am not opinionated about. Hockey and lawn care are the only two subjects that immediately come to mind. On all other matters, I am sure to interject a strong word. Politics happen to be one of my greatest interests. At the mature and wise age of 17, I worked on my first political campaign. This was an assignment of my government class and I credit Mr. Miles for much of my continued passion in this area.

It was the fall of 1992. We were not told a certain campaign to invest in, but I surveyed the prospects and quickly gave my time to the calling bank for a saxophone playing Arkansan named Bill Clinton. This means that I actively worked against the reelection of our 41st President, George H. W. Bush. Politically, little about his party and agenda was inline with my worldview. That was the basis of my bias. Fast forward 26 years and I found myself in a very bizarre space today.

I spent most of the day watching my cable news of choice and crying. The same can be said for a day last April. The funerals for Barbara and George H. W. Bush have captivated my heart. Not because I grew to embrace their politics. Not because I agree with their party. There is something deeper and more precious that I cannot articulate. Today I heard countless phrases like ‘beacon of civility’, ‘defined by service’, ‘highest character’ and ‘devoted to family.’ These are the things that I needed.

“In crucial things, unity. In important things, diversity. In all things, generosity.” – George H.W. Bush

There are many days that I wake to an overwhelming since of doom. I find myself facing the day’s news with a deep since of loss. Today, I needed to be reminded that in the midst of a world that seems to have lost its compass of compassion there are those, past and present, that call us to something more. Today, I was reminded that hope is real. And it is not a hope of political reconciliation or even of a peaceful tone by the talking heads. It is a hope that is lived out by a family that has, is and will be leaders as they choose to be generous servants.

Our policy and paths are very different. Our laws and even our leaders will fail us. But the legacy of generosity that is embodied by a man, his 5 children, his 14 grandchildren and his 8 great grandchildren reminds me that we can have hope. Thank you, President Bush, for providing a moment of healing to this liberal’s heart today.

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