I have enjoyed the face, these days, of that regal Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. There was that spare face, with all the lines often smiling so broadly beneath the carefully pulled-back, straight hair, slowly greying, above her white, long tabs and the simple, black robe of her high office in the Supreme Court of America.
I like it that she grew up in Brooklyn. Brooklyn was my home from very early teen-age years until my parents left the Brooklyn they loved, on my father’s mid-retirement, after 17 years as Senior Minister of Cadman Memorial Church.
My father was a city boy, and loved Brooklyn. I didn’t. It seemed an endless tangle of shops, and garages, and downtown office buildings. I didn’t appreciate enough the wonder of Prospect Park, and the “Heights” above the river, looking across toward Manhattan. I’m sure a childhood in Brooklyn made Ruth Bader strong, and encouraged her as a young woman of Jewish faith.
I was moved by her Supreme Court colleague, Antony Scalia – who as the careful conservative on the Court, found Ruth Ginsberg to be a true friend who laughed and talked with him of many things, sharing the great respect he had for her.
In this angry time, the friendship of those two brilliant and remarkable people, both in such a high place of honor in our land, their friendship was singular and real, both committed to preserving the deep meanings of America’s Constitutional principles.
Both their lives, and particularly their relationship, are salutary for all Americans and all human beings.
How could they have been good friends in a polarized land? Because there were deeper things they cared about. She was a deeply believing Jewish person from Brooklyn, and he was a committed practicing Catholic. Both were patriotic Americans. They loved God and they loved America.
There are so many good people in this land who love their country and love God. Those deep feelings of the heart are foundational. Back to basics is not a bad way to go.
Looking at foundations. At what home and country and faith are built on, is a huge source of strength.
What draws us to others is something in their character. Something that is born out of faith. Something that speaks the highest that we know.
It draws us to people who tell the truth. Who do the right. Who follow the highest. Who love God, and pray to Him. When trying to “take the high road.”
It’s the low road that leads to envy, and jealousy, and the desire to get the best of others. It always ends in hurt, and misunderstanding and the willingness to do to others damage. We’ve been shown the “good way,” the selfless way, the way of seeing and serving the other, and making of him or her, a friend.
It’s a pathway two great leaders have shown us. We could follow it. And, we would not be alone. What a good year to remember these people, and to try to follow them, on their high road. Amen?
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Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES