Washington, D.C. — I will soon share a column dedicated to our great national servant leader and my much beloved friend for 50 years, Congressman John Lewis. He was a true servant leader and taught us how to trust God and do what God needs us to do to bring about a world worthy of all our children. I am still too sad to do him the justice he so richly deserves, but instead I share here some of John Lewis’ last words and his legacy to us, excerpted from his essay published this week in the New York Times.
“Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.
“You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for an exceptionally long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.
“Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you honestly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.”
You can read Rep. John Lewis’ essay, “Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation,” on the New York Times website.