I just read an article written for The Washington Times by a man named Joseph Curl (now the editor of the Drudge Report but covered The White House and politics for 10 years for the Times). It was a political piece, as virtually everything is. And, just to get it out of the way, it was pro Bush and I suppose by that one fact, anti-everybody else.
I read it because it was a piece about the opening of the George W. Bush presidential library and I wanted to know how that went - specifically it was about how each of the presidents in attendance handled the day and themselves. You can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles himself around other men, so I was interested. What I wasn't prepared for was the last, seemingly unimportant paragraph.
Let me just copy and paste this part of Mr Curl's article so you can read it for yourself.
"The program nearly over, Sgt. 1st Class Alvy R. Powell Jr. came to the side of the stage to perform the “Star Spangled Banner.” A big, powerful black man, Mr. Powell belted out the anthem. With the crowd applauding, the sergeant moved along the line of people, shaking hands with all. After greeting W, he turned to go. But the 43rd president put his hand on the sergeant’s arm and said, “Stay,” just as a chaplain stepped forward to give a benediction.
So the final tableau of the day: Five presidents, five first ladies, heads bowed in prayer. And Sgt. 1st Class Alvy R. Powell Jr. No one, really, just the man a president asked to “stay.”"
I think that is amazing. What does the guy who got selected to sing the Star Spangled Banner have in common with five of the last six presidents of these United States? Not much. In fact, he know doubt had been told to shake hands and get out of there so they could wrap up the ceremony. He may have even been nervous. No matter what your politics or lack of respect for any man, when you stand on a stage with every living president that's a big deal. So to have one simply say, "stay." means something.
I am right now preparing a message for this Sunday at Real Life. I am going to teach on Peter's denial of Jesus and then Jesus' reinstatement of Peter. And it's such perfect timing that this story comes across my screen. What Jesus was saying to Peter on the beach (where Peter had met him for the very first time by the way) was, "stay." Stay with me Peter. Hang in there. Don't walk away because I want you to be here with me.
It's the same thing Jesus is saying to you today. You may not feel like you belong with Jesus, standing there with him you may feel very nervous, but Jesus is just putting his hand on your arm and asking you to stay. Whatever song you're singing for the world to hear, whatever part you're playing in life, Jesus is calling you to stay with Him. Not because you deserve to be with Him, but simply because He chooses you. Because He put His hand on your arm and said, "stay." Unassuming. Reassuring. He wants you to share the stage with Him.
You're the one Jesus asked to stay.
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/25/w-outclasses-barack-and-bill-without-even-trying/?page=2#ixzz2Rb8H00al