I shared this article on FB yesterday and received a private message from someone who was “surprised” that I would lift up the Bush family in prayer. “I wouldn’t peg you to be a fan of the Bushes” I was told. That’s a huge assumption, actually, and here’s my response:
- I am a huge fan of families that support each other and love each other through the good and the not-so-good.
- I am a huge fan of people who not only survive deep grief but use their grief for good. I will always have a special place in my heart for Mrs. Bush who not only buried a three-year old but used that tragedy to support other parents who buried their own children.
- I am a huge fan of people with good manners and people with noble core values. I’m not thrilled that Mrs. Bush would call Mrs. Ferraro “something that rhymes with ‘witch’” but I’m chalking that up to Not Her Best Moment. All of us have those.
- I am a huge fan of wit and good-natured snarkitude.
- I am a huge fan of pearls. Real ones. Fake ones. Especially clutched ones.
One of the things I am not a huge fan of is the fact that many of us are so divided that we would celebrate in the sorrow or the destruction of people with whom we disagree.
- I am sickened by this story about the man who made a cardboard cutout of David Hogg and used it for target practice with his assault rifle. This man needs Jesus as much as anyone I’ve ever met.
- I am sickened by the tweets that celebrate the bombing of Syria as if the bombing of any country is reason to party. Even when we (or anyone else) bomb military sites, there is collateral damage to innocent people. (After visiting rebuilt homes in Syria myself a year ago, the bombing of the Homs air strip blew out the windows of those new homes shortly after we returned to the U.S.)
- I am sickened by anyone who allows the gas lighting of their political opponents. The way things are now, even the most noble political candidates of either party are considered criminals if there is enough misinformation about them to blanket the airwaves.
- I am sickened that ugly politics and blatant lying by leaders on both sides of the aisle has become the norm.
It does not have to be this way.
I am praying for Barbara Bush and you can’t stop me. Even if she were my enemy (which she isn’t) I am called to pray for her and so are you.
And we are called to pray for the assault weapon guy. And for Assad and Putin. And for the Cambridge Analytica people. It doesn’t mean we agree with them or like them. It means we are trying to follow Jesus. For the record, I want the haters to get shut down but I am commanded to pray for the haters. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” is no joke.
Barbara Bush is a public servant, a wife and a mother and grandmother and great-grandmother. She has lived a privileged life but she has used her privilege for good countless times. I thank God for her life, and I pray that she will see her three year old again whenever the time comes.
Image of Barbara Pierce Bush and Millie is by Diana Walker (1989) and it hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.