It has long been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Much has been written and broadcast in the past 48 hours about the need to see a certain picture. A picture that some believe could provide comfort, closure, or confirmation of a death; a killing. This is a picture of death. It is bloody and gruesome, yet so many want to see it.
Another picture caught my eye today.
This was a picture of despair. It was a picture of hope. At its core it is a picture of the greatest hope the world knows. This was a picture of determination, perseverance, faith and the beauty of life in the midst of death. This too was a picture of the kind of leader I want for our nation as we move forward into ever turbulent times.
This is Sarah and Todd Palin who went to Birmingham, Alabama to serve along with other volunteers from Rev. Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse. This poignant photograph shows Todd and Sarah praying along with J.L. Price, a Birmingham man who some would say lost everything in the horrific tornadoes that tore apart the South last week.
J.L. Price could be seen as representative of all of America over the past several years. With gas and food prices rising, the economy shaky, and our children’s children swimming through a quicksand of debt, some might look at America and say we have lost, or are at the very least, in the rapid process of losing everything.
Yet, when I look at this photo of J.L. Price, I don’t see a man who lost everything. I see a man who has faith and therefore has everything, not the least of which is hope, courage and perseverance.
I see alongside J.L. Price a woman who could be anywhere in the world, doing anything she wished, doing anything else other than choosing to be sweating under the physical strain of manual labor in a steamy tornado ravaged town in Alabama.
I see servant leadership at its finest. I see servant leadership based on faith.
What is Servant Leadership?
Roy Lessin, founder of Outreach Publications, put it this way, "A Godly Leader finds strength by realizing his weakness, finds authority by being under authority, finds direction by laying down his own plans, finds vision by seeing the needs of others, finds credibility by being an example, finds loyalty by expressing compassion, finds honor by being faithful, finds greatness by being a servant."
"A leader lives with people to know their problems. A leader lives with God in order to solve them,” John C. Maxwell.
Our country needs genuine hope which derives from faith in action: Servant Leadership. We need a servant leader.
Servant Leadership is rooted in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. (John 13:2) Christ genuinely loved people, kept his goals ever in front of him, and was more interested in relationships and the lives of people than in tasks. Christ sought no credit. His service was not a publicity stunt.
‘So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many,” Mark 10: 42-45
“It feels great to be working out here. I hope more people sign up with Samaritan’s Purse so they can be blessed like I am today,” Sarah Palin.
Blessed to Serve -
I am convinced that without faith-driven Servant Leadership, our country will fall. I am convinced that we as a people must find genuine hope. We can no longer afford to follow along after some ill-conceived notion of a vague secular hope served up on a PR platter decorated by slogans and based on a singular personality whose genuine goals are all centered on self.
The winds of discontent blow fiercely across our nation. The people are no longer willing to sit idly by, blissfully ignorant, of our need to be served. Our nation needs to see real, deep, heartfelt hope demonstrated selflessly in actions, not words.
We need this emotionally, morally, politically and spiritually. We need a President who leads not from the position of political gains or losses, but rather a President who understands that the truest form of leadership is servant leadership.
Our elected officials are all elected to serve. They are not elected to rule. They are not elected to dictate. Their positions are defined as representative roles designed to serve you, to serve the people. Too many of our elected officials have become power hungry, publicity hungry megalomaniacs who believe they are in charge, and that they are to be served. That’s backward.
The only way to change our backward direction as a nation is for the ones truly in charge, you and me and our neighbors, to find a genuine servant leader to serve us, to serve our country.
I found that leader today.
Any questions I may have had about that leader’s qualifications, or concerns about the minutiae of policy melted away. Why?
Because a picture is worth a thousand words and a picture of leadership, hope, life, determination, hard work and faith is worth much more than mere words.
This is the kind of president I want for me, my wife and our family. This is the kind of president I want for our nation. I want someone who rolls up their sleeves and gets down in the dirt with the rest of us in order to serve our nation.
I want someone who knows who we are and will lead with the courage that is derived from faith, love and yes, hope. Real hope.
~ John G Winder
The Times is a great website for local and national news as well as for opinion and inspiration. Take time to check it out here.
For more photos and video of Sarah, as well as how you can help Samaritan's Purse help tornado victims, click here.