I’ve been very moved this week as I have watched the various tributes to one I consider a spiritual and political giant: Congressman John R. Lewis.
He was a man known to create “good trouble,” “necessary trouble.” There have been many words of praise for his steadfastness, and determination to never give up! He was a man beaten, but not defeated; denied many privileges, but never got bitter; he just kept on and never gave up. His eyes were “on the prize.” Thank you Congressman John Lewis for demonstrating to the world that love and non-violence does win.
He once described an incident when, as a young man, he was beaten bloody by members of the Ku Klux Klan after attempting to enter a “white waiting room.”
“Many years later, in February of 2009, one of the men who had beaten us came to my Capitol Hill office; he was in his 70s, with his son in his 40s. And he said, ‘Mr. Lewis, I am one of the people who beat you and your seat mate.’” on a bus, Lewis said, adding the man said he had been in the KKK. “He said, ‘I want to apologize. Will you accept my apology?’”
After accepting his apology and hugging the father and son, the three cried together.
“It is the power in the way of peace, the way of love,” Lewis said. “We must never, ever hate. The way of love is a better way.”