Bill Clinton said recently that if you want to understand Hillary, you should look first to her faith.
As a Christian from the South whose father was a pastor for 18 years, I’ve looked to Hillary’s faith for a long time. It’s helped ground me as I’ve navigated the political world, and my own life, especially now as a new mom. I’m continually inspired by her steadfast commitment to her faith in the midst of enormous pressures, and how it drives her to serve others and seek a better world.
That’s why I find it so disappointing when people don’t know about Hillary’s faith. Or that she speaks about it so beautifully, as she did in Iowa recently when she shared how the call to “Love your neighbor as yourself” has propelled her work throughout her life, and how it continues to push her to “to try to do better, to try to be kinder, to try to be more loving, even with people who are quite harsh.”
When the media questions Hillary’s motives by baselessly deriding her as power-hungry or corrupt, it does more than create a false comparison with Bernie Sanders–it ignores the passion and conviction (and faith) that drive her public service.
I’ve compiled six of the most beautiful expressions of Hillary’s faith below. And it’s worth saying: there’s more where these came from.
“Faith is just — it’s grace. It’s love. It’s mystery. It’s provocation. It is everything that makes life and its purpose meaningful as a human being. And those moments of grace are ones that I cherish.”
“Regardless of how hard the days are, how difficult the decisions are, be grateful. Be grateful for being a human being. Being part of the universe. Be grateful for your limitations. Know that you have to reach out to have more people be with you, to support you, advise you. Listen to your critics. Answer the questions. But at the end, be grateful. Practice the discipline of gratitude. And that has helped me enormously.”
“We got in that church van and we went down to Orchestra Hall and we heard Dr. King. And I remember standing in that long line just to shake his hand after hearing one of his famous sermons, “Staying Awake Through the Revolution.” I’ve read that many times since, trying to absorb even more than the first impression that I felt so strongly. I left that hall a different person thanks to my church.”
“I think every one of us in those places near and close to home, in our own churches, our own work environments; we can roll up our sleeves and like those indomitable United Methodist Women before us, keep taking the social Gospel out into the world, even when our resources are meager— just 5 loaves and 2 fish ― even when the odds are long, a multitude to feed, even when we are tired and all we want to do is go away by ourselves to a secluded place and rest a while; even then, especially then. Let’s make it happen.”
“The church where these killings took place is known as Mother Emmanuel. And like any mother, it holds its flock close. Today is a day to hold each other even closer.”
“Let us pray that we will all continue to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. Let us pray that amid our differences, we can continue to see the power of faith not only to make us whole as individuals, to provide personal salvation, but to make us a greater whole and a greater force for good on behalf of all creation. So let us do all the good we can, by all the means we can, in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, to all the people we can, as long as ever we can.”
Words to live by.
[NOTE: This article was originally published in February, 2016.]