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At the Foot of the Cross: A Story You Havenít Heard
Breakpoint ^ | 6 Jan 04 | Chuck Colson

Posted on 01/06/2004 8:57:16 AM PST by Mr. Silverback

Angel Tree, our Prison Fellowship program for prisoners’ children, is one of the great unheralded volunteer outreaches in America. Over the Christmas holidays these past few weeks, approximately 100,000 volunteers delivered Angel Tree gifts to more than 525,000 children of inmates.

You didn’t read about this in the newspapers, nor would I expect that you should. It’s not really that newsworthy that Christians help people in need. But there are two of our volunteers, who delivered forty presents, that I think you should have read about but didn’t. For reasons best known to themselves, the media ignored the fact that two of the volunteers were President and Mrs. George Bush. And they delivered gifts to forty inner-city kids in a church basement three days before Christmas.

President and Mrs. Bush arrived at three-o’clock, Monday, December 22, at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Now, presidents don’t move anywhere without a great deal of fuss. The police were out, the roads blocked, and Secret Service were roaming around the church. And when the president arrived, he was accompanied not only by his own team, but also by a pool of reporters, forty or so members of the press. For ten minutes they popped their flashbulbs, scribbled their notes, and then were ushered out.

I remember from my days with President Nixon what photo opportunities are: Get the picture and leave. So I thought the Bushes would shortly depart, but they didn’t. They stayed long after the cameras were gone to greet every child, to have their picture taken with them, their mothers, and their grandmothers, to talk with them, and to ask questions. Though the press didn’t report it, I noticed that both the president and Mrs. Bush talked to the Hispanic children in Spanish.

Just before the president left, I introduced him to Al Lawrence, a member of our staff. I told the president that I had met Al more than twenty years ago in a prison. Jesus had got hold of Al’s life, and he’s been working for us ever since. Then I told the president that Al’s son was now a freshman at Yale. At that point the president stopped, exclaimed, “We’re both Yale parents,” and threw his arms around Al Lawrence—an African-American ex-offender being embraced by the president of the United States in a church basement. The ground is indeed level at the foot of the cross.

I tell you this story because it’s a wonderful Christmas story, and you probably haven’t heard it. With all those reporters who crowded into that basement, the visit resulted in almost universal media silence.

I suppose there are many explanations for this, but I’ll offer mine. The president is a Christian who really cares for “the least of these,” who does this not for photo ops, but because he’s genuine. That is something that his detractors in the media simply can’t handle. Conservatives caring for the poor? Never. It dashes the stereotypes.

But surely Christians ought to be rejoicing that the most powerful man in the world and his wife, a couple of days before Christmas, had a wonderful visit with the most powerless people in our society.

After all, that echoes the Christmas message, doesn’t it? The most powerful came to be with the least powerful to give us hope.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: alexandriava; angeltree; bush43; charity; charlescolson; church; inmates; laurabush; merrychristmas; prisonfellowship; shilohbaptist; volunteers
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A belated Merry Christmas. I just love this President!
1 posted on 01/06/2004 8:57:16 AM PST by Mr. Silverback
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To: agenda_express; AntiJen; BA63; banjo joe; Believer 1; billbears; Blood of Tyrants; ChewedGum; ...
BreakPoint/Chuck Colson Ping!

If anyone wants on or off my BreakPoint Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.

2 posted on 01/06/2004 8:57:44 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (Pre-empt the third murder attempt-- Pray for Terry Schiavo!)
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To: All
Rank Location Receipts Donors/Avg Freepers/Avg Monthlies
Kenya




20.00
1

Thanks for donating to Free Republic!

Move your locale up the leaderboard!

3 posted on 01/06/2004 8:58:52 AM PST by Support Free Republic (Freepers post from sun to sun, but a fundraiser bot's work is never done.)
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To: dd5339; cavtrooper21
W ping!
4 posted on 01/06/2004 9:01:04 AM PST by Vic3O3 (Jeremiah 31:16-17 (KJV))
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To: Mr. Silverback
I'm disappointed in Chuck. The Bushes should be allowed to help people anonymously (that is, with as little publicity as possible, under the circumstances), and he's blown it.
5 posted on 01/06/2004 9:01:39 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
BTTT...Thanks!!!
6 posted on 01/06/2004 9:09:05 AM PST by in the Arena (1st Lt. James W. Herrick, Jr., - MIA - Laos - 27 October 69 "Fire Fly 33")
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To: Mr. Silverback
That is a wonderful story but not a surprising one. President and Mrs. Bush are good, kind, loving CHRISTIAN people and that will never leave them. That is who they are and who they will always be.

Report it in the mainstream press? No way. Although they had their noses there just in case soemthing they thought would be newsworthy would take place.

However, helping those less fortunate than you and not only giving the presents but staying there so long to converse with families, kids, etc and just "hang out" is not important enough to the mainstream press. Which by the way, that term "mainstream" is gonna be pretty obsolete soon. The Cable and internet are pulling them down like quicksand and they are becoming obsolete. Thank God for that. They are just a bothersome crew and think stories like spears getting married and annuled within 24 hours is a story...that kind of trash reporting.

I think President and Mrs. Bush do a lot more things like this that even reporters don't know much less report. They don't need the limelight or the publicity. God bless them both. Our country is so fortunate to have President Bush at the helm with God's hand one of his shoulders and Laura's hand in his hand.

Thank you so much for this beautiful story. It is a Christmas story for sure and one I will be sending to everyone on my list and asking them to do the same which I am sure they will.

Happy New Year and God bless America and our President!
7 posted on 01/06/2004 9:09:19 AM PST by cubreporter
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To: Mr. Silverback
Thanks for the article. Just when the media negativity is starting to get to me, I sat down at my computer and found your article about our great president.
8 posted on 01/06/2004 9:09:20 AM PST by Eva
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To: Tax-chick
I'm disappointed in Chuck. The Bushes should be allowed to help people anonymously (that is, with as little publicity as possible, under the circumstances), and he's blown it.

But the press was there...

9 posted on 01/06/2004 9:10:41 AM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: Eala
Mr. Colson says himself: "You didn’t read about this in the newspapers, nor would I expect that you should."
10 posted on 01/06/2004 9:12:15 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Tax-chick
But he goes on, "For reasons best known to themselves, the media ignored the fact that two of the volunteers were President and Mrs. George Bush..."
11 posted on 01/06/2004 9:14:18 AM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: Eala
Mr. Colson's standard should be the Gospel, "When you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men." To me, that's what he's doing here on behalf of the Bushes - blowing the trumpet so they'll be praised by men. I find it disappointing.
12 posted on 01/06/2004 9:22:55 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Great story. Thanks for posting it. A President for all the people.
13 posted on 01/06/2004 9:24:47 AM PST by mom-7
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To: Mr. Silverback; ohioWfan
bump and ping!
14 posted on 01/06/2004 9:32:15 AM PST by mamaduck (I follow a New Age Guru . . . from 2000 years ago.)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Righteousness exalts a nation
(Proverbs 14:34)
15 posted on 01/06/2004 9:36:19 AM PST by pkjeff ( <><)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Here are a couple more links (Sited as further reading from the main article:) <a href="http://www.news8austin.com/content/headlines/?arID=93109&SecID=2

<a href="http://www.pfm.org/BPtemplate.cfm?Section=BreakPoint_Home&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=11320"
16 posted on 01/06/2004 9:43:19 AM PST by Core_Conservative (ODC-GIRL - the love of my life!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Here are a couple more links (Sited as further reading from the main article:) <a href=http://www.news8austin.com/content/headlines/?arID=93109&SecID=2

<a href=http://www.pfm.org/BPtemplate.cfm?Section=BreakPoint_Home&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=11320
17 posted on 01/06/2004 9:45:46 AM PST by Core_Conservative (ODC-GIRL - the love of my life!)
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To: Tax-chick
Good grief...you're making a simple instruction of Jesus, about personal conduct, into an occasion for a CASUISTRY OF RESULT. He said "if you do what you do to be praised by men you already have your reward" -- but that doesn't translate into "if somebody else tells about it God will be mad."

Do your virtue in private -- but of your friends tell about it neither you, nor your friends, have violated any Gospel counsel.

It's perfectly appropriate to hold up your friends as examples of charity when they themselves should not.

When you are invited to a banquest, choose the lowest seat. If you should be invited to move up higher, do so. When the choice is yours, choose humility, but if you are honored by others, you've done nothing against humility.

18 posted on 01/06/2004 9:48:28 AM PST by Taliesan
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To: Taliesan
I never said God would be mad at anyone, just that I'm personally disappointed at what I feel is inappropriate publicity. All others free to disagree with me, of course ...
19 posted on 01/06/2004 9:54:12 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Tax-chick
I'm disappointed in Chuck. The Bushes should be allowed to help people anonymously (that is, with as little publicity as possible, under the circumstances), and he's blown it.

Yeah! President Bush and the First Lady should have slipped out of the White House through the kitchen and jumped into their Stealth VW bug and driven to that church to deliver those presents dressed as Groucho and Harpo.

I don't know who approached who first for this Christmas visit..Chuck/Bush or Bush/Chuck. I would guess the President knows Chuck very well, and I believe Chuck approached him. At any rate, it was a great thing to do.

You don't have many kind things to say about your President, do you Tax-chick?

FMCDH

20 posted on 01/06/2004 10:01:35 AM PST by nothingnew (The pendulum is swinging and the Rats are in the pit!)
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