I am not sure how many of the folks who were tuned in to the conventions in the past weeks noticed something that I took note of or not. I listed intently to Sen. Obama give his acceptance speech and I heard him talk a lot about how great he was and how he was the one to lead us out of the “wilderness” to the promised land, almost as if he were Moses . I listened to Joe Biden who really didn’t say much at all about anything at all except to talk about Obama and what Obama would do, not what he would do. Oh , he talked a bit about family, his family , and how he was taught to be a fighter and to get up if you got knocked down but he really never showed us that he had done any of this.
I listened to Sen. McCain give his speech the following week and listened intently as well to see if he would say something different than all the rest of the speeches that I had heard over the past weeks. I was not disappointed. Why, some will ask because to them it sounded just like another political speech where they play up themselves and knock down the opponents , but you know that is what most political speeches are about. However I caught one thing and to many it was just glossed over or missed entirely and it is such a minute thing some will say but I caught it and it was the defining moment in the difference in the two candidates for President of the
The night before I listed to Gov. Sarah Palin give her speech and I listened intently to see if she would say anything different from the usual political talk we hear during election speeches and yes I heard something very different than I heard from Sen. Joe Biden or Sen. Obama. I heard again what most didn’t hear and I found no mention of it by the media but it was one of the most important things said by any of the speech makers this election year. I heard it and it defined her not as a woman, not as a politician, but as a person. A person that I could place my confidence in regardless of her experience or even lack of such in some areas. I heard her make the same statement as her running mate, Sen. John McCain and it instilled in me the confidence that I had made the right choice in the candidates that I could support in this election year. They made a statement that is close to my heart, one that I have stated on many occasions and one that I feel defines a persons total being.
Sarah Palin expressed the true heart that everyone who is elected to office in this country should have when she said: No one expects us to agree on everything.
But we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and ... a servant's heart.
I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the
John McCain said made the same statement when he said: I've been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I have been her servant first, last and always. And I've never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I didn't thank God for the privilege.
Both of these individuals gave us the opportunity to see inside their heart and to understand that this is what it takes to be a leader. Not great credentials, not great oratory abilities, not platitudes and clever sayings but a servants heart.
Jesus Christ himself made the same kind of statement over 2000 years ago when he said in Mark 9:35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."
And again in Mark 10:43 , he said: Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
No one in the media paid attention to these few simple words and I doubt that many listening heard these simple words either. I heard them and was listening for something that would define the candidates for leadership of this country, a country that I have been a servant in for most of my life. I am glad that there are those who realize that before one can lead , they must be a servant and that even being a leader you are still a servant of those you lead.
Thank you Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin for defining yourselves as servants .
"Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision."
-Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.