We need leaders of deep character like George HW Bush
By D. Clay Perkins
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
“Be kind and compassionate to one another ….” — Ephesians 4:32a (The Bible, New International Version)
When a man dies, that which is private often becomes public. Such is the case of George H. W. Bush, our 41st president. We have heard stories that give us a glance into the character of this man. What a man does in private often reveals more about him than what he does in public.
This story has been shared by one with first-hand knowledge. President Bush was a sponsor of a child through an international mission organization. It was at a Christian music concert that, much to the frustration of his Secret Service detail, President Bush requested a packet for child sponsorship. His packet contained the name of a boy, but everyone knew this child must never know that his sponsor was the the leader of the free world. The mission agreed to censor all letters between this child, living in a poverty-stricken environment, and the most powerful man in the free world. A code/secret name was used for President Bush.
President Bush agreed also to the security guidelines. His letters to the young boy were compassionate and encouraging. He praised his art work, challenged him to always be good, do his best, respect and love others — all the things a man would tell his own children. I find it extraordinary that this man would take the time to regularly write and love on this boy. Many would have considered it enough to provide just the financial commitment.
When you are the president of the United States, sometime the rules are bendable. It started with a picture of his dog. President Bush wrote in a note to the boy, “This is my dog, Millie. … She knows many famous people.” It continued when his son became the 43rd president. President (41) wrote, “This year we are going to my son’s for Christmas. … He lives in a big white house.” When President 43 was told this, his only reply was, “Yup, that’s my Daddy.”
May God grant the Bush family grace and peace in their grief. Please God, send us leaders with deep character, men and women who will do the right things, at the right time, whether in public or in private. May we all resolve to pray for our leaders. They carry, as humans, a burden few can bear — especially our presidents.
And why not commit to be a little kinder and gentler in how we treat others, both in our public and private lives. After all, one day your stories will be told.
D. Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of the university.