Like many of you, I get wrapped up in the lives of public figures. And the last several days have been historic and powerful in the weight of loss from two American icons.
I spent the last two days watching two very different life celebrations, funerals and farewells - Aretha Franklin and John McCain. It has been deeply emotional and moving and humbling, on so many levels, we could not take our eyes off them. How different each was from the other...and yet how similar.
I am from Detroit - Motown was my home for 23 years and it's where my roots run deep. So the loss of Aretha, the Queen of Soul, cuts me to the core. Her music was her message, infused with the depth of her faith, and she never failed to use her gifts in the service of others and of America. Her 8-hour service was a foot-stomping, Jesus-loving, music-filled Home Going in a 4000-seat venue, broadcast around the world. It was loud and meaningful and fabulous.
I am also a deeply-rooted political hound - sometimes I follow it too closely and it gets personal and partisan. But the loss of John McCain, a man I disagreed with, has also cut me to the core. His character was unmatched in the political world. He never failed to use his gifts in the service of others and of America. His 4-hour service was Jesus-loving and music-filled, in a 4000-seat venue, broadcast around the world. It was somber and meaningful and heartfelt.
Both of these individuals changed this nation. They represent some of our best ideals and gifts - service, sacrifice and dignity - striving in the face of adversity and turning suffering into triumph.
As our leaders and elders pass, I feel like we have an obligation to step into their shoes and carry on what they taught us, to follow the example they set. To do better, to be better, to give more. The passing of the torch means it's our turn.
I aspire to do better. Creating more, offering more and celebrating more... The sky is the limit! If you have thoughts on what you want to give or be, or what you think I could to do to give more, let me know. Time to honor the Queen and the Senator - and ourselves. Amen, amen.