First of all, let me say this… In the U.S. Congress…there are many selfish & corrupt bastards…supposedly “working” as House Representatives and Senators who LITERALLY don’t give a damn about serving the needs of “the people.” They got into the rat race of politics…for the sole purpose…of serving their selfish ass selves. That’s it and that’s all. Humanitarianism (the promotion of human welfare)…doesn’t even come into the equation…let alone, their hearts and minds. But…
There are those…who do get into it for the right reasons. And, stay in it for the right reasons. Now, don’t misunderstand… I’m not saying that the Congressional offices in D.C. is loaded down with these types. HELL NO! In actuality…these kind of “hearts” are few and far between in the political arena. So, don’t let anybody fool you about that. (above photo courtesy of PBS) The writer, Mark Twain, who gave us the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn…puts it like this… “The government of my country snubs honest simplicity but fondles artistic villainy, and I think I might have developed into a very capable pickpocket if I had remained in the public service a year or two. ― Mark Twain”
Last Saturday, I watched the funeral Of Senator John McCain, III. As I watched the Senator’s funeral…there was a theme that ran through all of the memories…reflected upon about Senator McCain. And, that theme was this… An imperfect…sometimes, contrary man…who was humble enough to admit…to the whole world…when (above photo courtesy of CNN) he was wrong. A man wise enough to understand that God does REALLY exist. A man who reached out to everyday folk…despite any privileged aspects of his life due to his name…titles…etc… Back in April 2008, while he was campaigning for the 2008 Presidential election…Senator McCain…went to an economically depressed coal mining town in Inez, Kentucky. The New York Times reports McCain’s interactions with these folk as follows… “Mr. McCain told an exuberant crowd… “I’m not the son of a coal miner. I wasn’t raised by a family that made its living from the land or toiled in a mill or worked in the local schools or health clinic. I was raised in the United States Navy, and after my own naval career, I became a politician. My work isn’t as hard as yours.” But Mr. McCain told the crowd that “you are my compatriots,” and added, “that means more to me than almost any other association.””
Speakers at McCain’s funeral viewed him as a man who tried to build bridges among folk. One who spent a lifetime of choosing to serve his fellow man…as opposed to just serving himself. President Barack Obama remarked in part… “John understood, as JFK understood, as Ronald Reagan understood, that part of what makes our country great is that our membership is based not on our bloodline, not on what we look like, what our last names are, it’s not based on where our parents or grandparents came from, or how recently they arrived, but on adherence to a common creed: that all of us are created equal, endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. And finally, while John and I disagreed on all kinds of foreign-policy issues, we stood together on America’s role as the one indispensible nation, believing that with great power and great blessings comes great responsibility. That burden is borne most heavily by our men and women in uniform, service members like Doug, Jimmy, and Jack who followed their father’s footsteps, as well as the families who serve alongside our troops. But John understood that our security and our influence was won not just by our military might, not just by our wealth, not just by our ability to bend others to our will, but from our capacity to inspire others with our adherence to a set of universal values, like rule of law and human rights, and an insistence on the God-given dignity of every human being.”
As I listened, I thought… “Mmmmmhhhh…that’s a rare bird.” You see…the operative term here is “choosing.” Senator McCain chose…for a lifetime…to serve his fellowman. O.k…
God gave us all freewill. And, with that freewill…we can choose to be selfless…or…we can choose to be selfish. Sadly, anymore…day in & day out…what I see…what I hear…is a bunch of selfish whining going on…all over the place. And, I’m not talking about just from toddlers. Hell No! I’m talking about grown ass folk…who have held on to the “me…me….me” phase…even into adulthood. You know…
The phase where you “choose” to step over a homeless person (who may be a veteran)…as your face contorts in disgust…because this homeless person had the audacity to be present in your walking path…on a public street. You know… The phase where you “choose” to walk the path of… “I’ve got mine…& you got yours to get.” You know… The phase where you “choose” to turn a blind eye to all the suffering/hurt/pain…that is ALL around you. Why??? Because it does not exist within the confines of the brick/mortar/sheetrock walls…where you lay your head. (above photo courtesy of Veteran Affairs) But, guess what???
For God… Your brick…your mortar…your sheetrock…YOUR delusional physical separation from other human beings…DOES NOT…excuse you from the destiny that God laid out for you. Yes, the one that He set down…even before you were in your mother’s womb. Think about how incredible this is…what I’m telling you. God laid out your destiny…in Heaven…before you ever existed on this earth. You know there is somebody who walked this earth…before us…who knew exactly what I’m talking about here. Who??? That who…would be the prophet Jeremiah…son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. The Bible tells us about Jeremiah’s interactions with God, as follows:
“4 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” 7 But the Lord said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’;
for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
and you shall speak whatever I command you.
8 Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
says the Lord.”
9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me,
“Now I have put my words in your mouth.
10 See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”
11 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.”[a] 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching[b] over my word to perform it.” 13 The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, tilted away from the north.”
14 Then the Lord said to me: Out of the north disaster shall break out on all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For now I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord; and they shall come and all of them shall set their thrones at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And I will utter my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have made offerings to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, gird up your loins; stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not break down before them, or I will break you before them. 18 And I for my part have made you today a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall, against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.” (Jeremiah 1:4-19)
And, this God given destiny…is ONE…that He is holding you accountable for. YES! God is holding all of His children accountable…for the plight of the downtrodden. YES! God is holding His children accountable…for the carrying out of “His Holy & Divine Will” on this planet…we call earth.
Jesus, put it like this…
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.
34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’
40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[g] you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46)
O.k…don’t you see???….
Serving your fellowman…righteously…is serving God. It is carrying out the will of God on this earth. Today, USA Today reported Senator McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, as saying the following about her husband… “Whether it was to demand the best possible leadership and support for our armed forces, or to empower freedom fighters against dictators around the world, or to demand that perpetrators of torture and human rights abuses be punished, or to make sure our native American communities are treated with dignity and respect. John McCain fought for others every day of his life, whether he was wearing a uniform or standing on the floor of the U.S. Senate.”
So, for all the times that Senator John McCain, III. righteously served his fellowman…I am so so grateful. In our present times of “ME! ME! ME!”…screaming out from the hearts of so many, the McCain’s of this world…keep my heart “hopeful”…that man will allow God to use them to show His light & love…even in the darkest of times.
Iris R. Whiting ©