In recent days I have been amazed at all of the press coverage surrounding the loss of Senator John McCain. He served his country faithfully in so many ways. I think one of the reasons so much is being said about him is because we seem to be at a time when individuals with integrity are becoming more and more scarce. In recent years we have lost some great men and women.
There is so much you could say about John McCain, and I will not try to sum it all up here in a few short sentences. However, I do want to highlight one of his amazing qualities that people are talking about. He had the ability to connect with those with whom he strongly disagreed. He knew how to "reach across the aisle" to forge partnerships and even friendships. As he reminded us in some of his speeches -- we are all in the this together. We need each other. We need to find ways to build bridges with one another, even if we disagree. As McCain showed us, you do not have to give up your strong convictions and the things you value most to work with those who believe differently - especially if we focus first on what we share in common!
In recent days I have heard that John McCain's battles for what he believed was right were never personal. And if he later decided he was wrong, he had the integrity and humility to reach out to the person with whom he had disagreed and say something profound and lacking in our day: "I was wrong. I am sorry."
Two passages from the Bible come to mind in thinking about the kind of person John McCain was: "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for a friend." (John 15:13, NIV)
And "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:43-45, NIV)