Friday, October 13, 2006

A Visit from President Bush



Well, it was an exciting afternoon for Papa Rooster (on the right), myself and the senior pastor of our church! Here's a close-up of what is just beyond my head there:



And here is the President, with our fellow parishioner, friend and Congressional candidate Peter Roskam there on the left. We were in the second row of a tightly packed, standing crowd--probably about ten feet from the podium.



He spoke for nearly half an hour, glancing at his notes only a few times, with eloquence, firmness and warmth--a much better speaker than he is usually portrayed. (Probably his one stumble is what they'll play on the evening news.) There was no sign of the toll six years has surely taken on him.



He made eye contact with us repeatedly, and when he came down from the podium, he made a beeline to reach in, between two men in the front row, to shake Papa Rooster's hand and then our senior pastor's. "Father, thank you for coming," he said. "It's important that you're here. Your support means so much."

"God bless you, Mr. President," Papa Rooster replied. "I pray for you every day."

"We praise God for you, Mr. President," our senior pastor added.

"Thank you so much," he said. "It makes all the difference. I can tell."

And then he reached in between two more people in the front row--to shake MY hand! Words failed me--all I could do was smile at him. I recovered my wits a few seconds later, though, and snapped this shot:



What a privilege!

Even with the President's support, it's not going to be an easy win for Peter--the Democrats are trying hard to win Henry Hyde's old seat. He's a man of such character and ability, with a deeply committed, vibrant faith and a clear call on his life to use his gifts in the political arena, as he has for the past 14 years as our state senator. Please pray for him, right now, if you would.

12 comments:

Wendy WaterBirde said...

WOW, what a privilege indeed : )

I'm woefully unpoltical, but a person's character still comes through. Its not hard to see that our president is a man of commitment, faith, kindness and conscience. Its also clear he truly loves his family, which speaks volumes to me... how a man heads his family is likely a good indication of how he'll head a country.

As an aside, I just realized I forgot to let you know I'd qouted you recently. Hope that's okay : ) You were quoted here, http://thebluebirdofhappinesscomestotea.blogspot.com/2006/10/of-heart-and-hearth-and-rhythms-of.html
and the post has a part two coming up soon with some quotes from "Work is Love Made Visible". That "Work is Love Made Visible" post in particular has inspired me SO much lately!

Always a pleasure to visit your lovely blog At a Hen's Pace : ) Wendy

plainandsimple said...

I've never met Tony Blair, but would like to as I do admire him...a good Christian leader (although he's not too popular at the moment)!

PS. I'm just being nosey here, but do American Anglicans use the COmmon Book of Prayer?

Donna Boucher said...

What an exciting day!
How wonderful!

Amy said...

Wow. I know somebody who knows somebody who knows the president. Technically, I suppose I could take one of those "somebody"s out, but I don't know the Roskams very well, and they probably don't know me at all.

I'm with Wendy, mostly being apolitical, but I do think there are politicians and then there are politicians and character always (eventually) shines through. What a cool experience, though. Great pictures!!

Spunky said...

I got to shake then candidate Bush's hand at a private reception. There were only about 200 people in the room. After he spoke, he walked around the room and talked to the attendees. When he walked up to my friend and I, it seemed oddly normal. He seemed so approachable and real. We exchanged a handshake. I told him our family would pray for him, his family, and his campaign. He stopped and put his hand on my shoulder. He looked me square in the face and said, "Thank you. That means more than you'll ever know." His voice was so neighborly. Like I'd known him my whole life. It was a moment I'll never forget. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures. I left my camera at home. And once in the building we were not allowed to leave for security reasons.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Wendy,

It's always an honor to be quoted. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

Plain & Simple,

Yes, we do use the BCP, though I believe there are slight differences in our versions. Are you a fan? I love the beauty of the language and the profound theology in the prayers.

Amy,

I'm thrilled you started a blog!

Just introduce yourself to Peter and Elizabeth sometime! Or I can.

Spunky,

How cool to hear your story! I probably would never have thought of the camera, but my dh reminded me the night before!

Jeanne

Jennifer said...

Jeanne, how very exciting. I think he gets a lot of bad press, he must be very intelligent and likeable. Great pictures!! I know that is an experience you will remember forever.
thanks for sharing it with us,

Jenny in Ca

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Hello Jeanne,

This is just an aside, but I came accross these very sweet hen cards that reminded me of you and your blog, they are at http://smallmeadowpress.blogspot.com/2006/09/hens-for-peace.html ,
just thought I'd mention them.

Blessed and Peaceful Weekend to you : ) Wendy

Deborah said...

Jeanne,
What a neat experience! I also pray for and am very thankful for President Bush. He is a wonderful leader, and is here in God's perfect timing. Of course I don't think he is perfect, BUT WHO IS?
It was fun to hear that he seemed so normal, and neighborly to both you and Spunky. My husband and I have often stated that he seems like the kind of man you could have over for dinner or to watch football, and not feel intimidated!
Thanks for your comment over on my blog. I do hope you'll write a few blog posts of your thoughts on the Recovering Hospitality book -- I'd love to hear what you think.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful experience for both you & Papa Rooster, and great pictures! Reminds me of the time we were with our friend at the White House (sat in Dan Quayle's chair) and saw Geo. W's father arriving per helicopter. He walked straight to all of us & shook hands--a thrill for us (no handshake, though-- we were in the second row). I do think Geo W. is a spiritual and trustworthy man. Pianomum

SummerNFL said...

I'm so jealous. I was able to see him in an arena about 3 years ago . . . not as up close as you. He is such a blessing to this country. Just wish all Americans could see that!

Kathyb1960 said...

I know what it's like to shake a President's hand...or even to be THAT CLOSE! Many years ago President Ford came to the Midland/Odessa area, and our Girl Scout Troop got to go to the Airport to see him off, and I got to shake his hand.

President Bush was in Midland yesterday. I didn't get to see him and Laura, but they looked good in the paper!

Of course, the people in our area are so observant. The Police were blocking off the Loop before the motorcade got there, and some dingdong wasn't paying attention and caused a 4 car wreck!