President Carter’s Sunday School Class

President Carter has been on my mind today. What a remarkable man he is, a national monument in himself. Everything about him during the press conference the other day felt beautiful to me. Witnessing his spirit of honesty and gratitude and surrender, his ability to accept life on life’s terms, his joyful obedience to the rigor of living the tenants of his faith was, and continues to be, inspiring.

Peter and I made a trip to Plains, Georgia to attend one of President Carter’s Sunday School classes for my 50th birthday almost 17 years ago. As we approached the church that morning so too did 150-175 other women and men of various ages, colors, religions, and nationalities. Though strangers to each other, we were all on a pilgrimage together to the holy land of a holy man; we wanted to see him in person and learn from him in person, perhaps much like the apostles and crowds in Jesus’ time approached him.

One of my friends posted a quote of President Carter’s on facebook the other day and I’ve read it from time to time this weekend: “My faith demands – this is not optional – that I do whatever I can, wherever I can, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have, to try to make a difference.”

God bless you, President Carter. And God bless your wife, Rosalynn, and the rest of your family, and all your caregivers at Emory Winship Institute during this challenging and mysterious stage of your life. And thank you for that press conference the other day. It seemed to me that your lessons were no longer able to be contained in one room, that the walls of your Sunday School class expanded to embrace the world.

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