“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” ~ Rep. John Lewis

Pax Christi USA joins with all those who are mourning the death of Rep. John Lewis. Every generation is given women and men who model the best of what humanity is and can be, and for those of us who have been actively working to create a world that is more just, more peaceful and more sustainable, John Lewis stood tall as one of those to whom we looked for inspiration and guidance. His life — from the SNCC days to his time in Congress — embodied the values we cherish: nonviolence, compassion, prophetic critique, resolve. This moment in our history gives us ample opportunity to honor him and to build on his legacy. We give thanks for all John Lewis taught us, showed us and gave to us, and we pledge to continue the work he did on behalf of racial justice, civil rights and equality.

From Dianna Ortiz, OSU, Pax Christi USA Deputy Director: “Many of us have been touched by the life and witness of John Lewis. Prior to joining Pax Christi USA, I had the chance to talk with him about human rights abuses around the world. I will forever remember him as someone who took the time to listen to the sufferings of the tortured. His sense of mission was to be present. With few words, he calmly urged those of us who knew suffering first-hand to replace our fears with courage, our hopelessness with hope and our bottled-up rage with nonviolent action. John Lewis stood for truth, compassion and love—everything that we yearn not just for ourselves, our families, our communities and our world but for yesterday’s and today’s oppressors. John Lewis was Jesus in our midst.” 

3 thoughts on ““John Lewis was Jesus in our midst”

  1. Such a powerful post. The last line sticks with me and I hope many more will rise to be able to have the same said of them.

  2. I am so grateful to have witnessed the life and work of this giant of among men, Congressman John Lewis. His life is a shining example of love, nonviolence, energy, and courage in the face of evil and will continue to inspire me as I try to live my life in peace.
    When I am tired or overwhelmed with the sadness in our world, I will remember his words in that we must never give up instead becoming beacons of hope “creating good trouble.”

  3. Everyone has someone they consider a “living hero”….someone they hope to emulate in faith and action. John Lewis was that someone for me. His assertion that there is a spark of God in everyone – EVERYONE – has sustained me through difficult times with very challenging people (not mentioning any names, but you can guess who comes to mind). As John said, “Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.” Thank you, John, for helping me do my part by watching how, with dignity and love, you did yours.

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