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In Memory of The Honorable John Lewis

by David Jordan

It was the fall of 1988. I was a young minister in Washington, D.C. We had just started a program for Congressional Staffers called “Lunch on Capitol Hill” at the Library of Congress Cafeteria. A member of my congregation suggested that we invite a recently elected member of Congress from Georgia named John Lewis. “He marched with Dr. King” he said. He’s kind, humble, generous with his time, and he might be willing to speak to us. So John Lewis, hero of Civil Rights, a legend of hope and unity in our country for the coming decades, spoke to our little group. We had maybe twenty-five people there. But he spoke with passion and humility, kindness and sincerity. He was realistic about the difficulties, but steadfast in pursuing the necessary justice he would tirelessly work for. I had no budget to pay him. We bought his lunch. Yet his gentle spirit conveyed no hint of frustration. Only grace, love, hope and faithfulness to a cause he was giving his life to. May his example continue to teach us well for these trying days. And may the humble yet determined spirit of the Honorable John Lewis continue to inspire us, and to change us into what we must become. Amen.


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