The Compassionate Life

On July 17, Representative John Lewis died of pancreatic cancer. This week he is being honored, remembered, and celebrated for his life-long commitment to Civil Rights and service to his country. But what many may not know is that his faith was a driving factor in life.     

In a recent interview, his biographer John Meacham said of John Lewis: “He is a biblical figure. He believed in the efficacy and the possibility of bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth. It’s a remarkable, radically and optimistic vison of life and not one that is widely shared in American history. Most religious folks … have believed the rewards of life … really only existed on the other side of paradise, on the other side of the grave…. John Lewis believed the opposite. He believed if we got our hearts and minds in the right place, if we actually acted on what Christians say they believe but so rarely actually put into action, we could in fact create that world where ‘justice comes down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream’ (Amos 5:4).…