A couple of days ago I was in Plains, GA. I stopped by the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site and was very moved by everything I read and saw of the former president. A video I watched at the visitor center, narrated by Charles Kuralt, stated that the Inaugural Address delivered by President Carter made reference to the biblical prophet Micah.
“He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” –Micah
I thought how different our current president is and what a relief it would be to have a chief executive who didn’t just talk about faith, but one who actually lived it. Doing justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with our God doesn’t seem to drive our domestic or international policies. In fact we’ve almost completely dropped them from our national vocabulary. As I watched the video I couldn’t help but reflect on what an honor and blessing it was to have this man at the helm of our country as we celebrated our 200th anniversary as a nation in those years.
As I toured Jimmy Carter’s childhood home in Archery, GA I was struck by the simplicity and truthfulness of his rearing and his later life. Here was a man who sprang from relatively humble surroundings. He was middle-class to be sure but more than that he exuded class of a much higher plane. Jimmy Carter’s voice is captured on the narrations at all the visitor information stations at the farm. I always love to hear him talk as I can sense a peacefulness and inner tranquility that mark most truly holy people. Holiness is not an act or a pretense for Jimmy Carter. He is holy because he is wholly himself.
I learned at the farm on Wednesday that he’d gone to Syria to negotiate. After I left Plains and read some newspapers it became clearer that Mr. Carter had gone to Israel and Syria to bring to warring factions together. He was once again living Micah 6:8. Just like the prophets of old, Mr. Carter is being villified by the national press, our government and the Israeli government. I pray that his visit will bring hope to an embattled area.