Blue Room, The White House

Kierkegaard wrote: “Faith sees best in the dark.”

When the world goes our way, it’s easy to see purpose and divine love in our lives. But it’s in our darkest times, the times when we’ve run out of hope and lost our way, that we need God most.

When our son, Beau, grew sick from cancer, I taped that quote to a mirror in our house. So, every morning, Joe and I would be reminded of the power of faith.

But, when Beau died, I felt betrayed by that faith. Shattered. I couldn’t imagine a way through the darkness.

And then Joe and I visited Brookland Baptist Church in South Carolina, and Robin reached out her hand. And you helped me find that faith again.

Robin, in that moment, you may not have known how much it meant to me – how your light would go on to help lift my prayers.

And getting to know you and Candace and your whole family has been so special. Thank you for sharing so much of your love with me.

We all go through darkness at some point in our lives – perhaps some of you are even in it now. And I hope you have someone to help you find that light that can never be extinguished.

I know each of you has given that gift to so many in your communities.

You lift us when we’re weak. Extend a hand when we’re alone. Repair us when we’re broken. Help us rise when we’ve fallen.

For Joe and me, your faith helped carry us forward through our darkest days. And that faith has stayed with us, has nourished us, has strengthened us.

So, I want to thank you. For gratitude too is an act of faith.

As Paul wrote: “In the midst of everything give thanks.”

Joe and I are forever grateful for all you’ve done for us, for your communities, and for this nation.

And I know you spend so much time helping others, healing them, listening to their troubles. But today, in this season of thanks, I wanted to sit with you and hear what’s going on in your lives.

So, I asked Robin to bring this group together, so I could learn what’s on your minds – and on your hearts. And I hope we can share and learn and grow together.



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