Of all the images that stood out this week (besides Duchess Kate looking amazingly smashing a mere 7 hours after giving birth), there was one picture that spoke volumes to all who are willing to listen. Here at the funeral of one of America’s finest First Ladies, stood the eight of them…
George the father.
George the son.
At first glance, the differences amongst the eight seem strong. With further, intentional reflection, the eight are recognized as having something in common none of the rest of us are even close to sharing (save for Georgia’s Jimmy and Rosalynn and the current President, who consistent with protocol was not in attendance.) They form an exclusive, unique club.
They are a diverse group… from 47 to 93 years old… from one in a wheelchair who still skydives… to another who is passionate about crossword puzzles… to another who bikes regularly, often with veterans… to another who still shoots the basketball and loves college analysis…
… Not to mention their wives, who have their own sweet passions, interests, gifting, and skill sets…
They are a unique group of people.
They are a diverse group of people.
And note (BIG NOTE): they don’t all think even close to the same way.
And yet, they each seem to recognize they have more in common than they do not.
(Do their followers and fans recognize that?)
In a day to honor Barbara Bush, smiling, enjoying the moment, they arguably seem to recognize what they uniquely have in common. I love this! In fact, I asked one of my most politically astute friends, a former AP Government teacher, “What’s your reaction to this iconic photo of the eight?”
“Whole. Peaceful. Civility.
Grace. Warmth. Comforted. Blessed.
That these men and women gave with their hearts in good and not so good.”
Oh, how I love that!
That they gave!!
Of course, we do not always think like them. Of course, we do not always agree with them. They do not, in fact, always agree with one another. But we must be bigger. We must be wiser. We must embrace more than the very limiting, divisive, partisan echo chambers.
I keep thinking about the reason the astute group gathered… for the funeral of former First Lady Barbara Bush. People raved about her… about her honesty… frankness… truthfulness… faith… and ultimate sincerity.
More than anything else it seems, friends acknowledged Barbara Bush’s incredible ability to speak the truth in love.
… to speak the truth in love…
Oh, do we have much to learn… starting with having more in common than we do not.