Jimmy Carter is still going strong as he approaches his 90th birthday! He is incredible! And, he appears more lucid and coherent and “together” than does “literarylew” on occasion! Though I would not deign to “pile on” and diminish his presidency, the real work of his life has taken place in the 33 years since he lost the 1980 election to Reagan. And, I know this loss must have been a devastating experience for him. He must have suffered immensely. And, to make it worse, his presidency is often described as “ineffective” or as a “failure.” But, he is holding his head high and is doing very important work with the Carter Foundation and with Habitat for Humanity. In a video clip I will post here, he discusses with Jon Stewart his work in Africa in almost completely eradicating the Guinea worm.
I have suffered disappointment and even failure in my life. And, I never just completely caved in and wallowed in despair…too long. I too have pulled myself up from the floor and persevered. But, if I had been in a position like Carter’s and had suffered an ignominious defeat at the hands of the American people, I don’t know if I could have gotten up off the floor.
But his life is a demonstration of faith, an embodiment of the New Testament observation that “Faith without works is dead.” And though he has dissolved his ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, I’m sure his faith is very “Baptisty” even today. (And, I might add, so is mine!) I conjecture that he has found that his traditional Southern evangelical faith can withstand the scrutiny of a critical, intelligent mind and has even flourished as a result.
God appeared to me after this interview and told me that in a short time Jimmy will cross the river Styx and will find a very handsome golden mansion awaiting him. And those streets will be embellished with an additional layer of gold. And the angels will fete him as will the other humans who have preceded him into that celestial domain. And he is going to give Jimmy a real hearty “Atta-boy.”