DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The passing of the nation’s 41st president, and adopted Texan, George H.W. Bush, has left many this week in a reflective mood, mourning the loss and celebrating this life.
But for the Senior Pastor of the Oak Lawn United Methodist Church in Dallas, memories of how the late president carried himself after his term in office prompted her to travel to Washington, D.C. to pay her respects in person.
“We were there early,” recalls Pastor Rachel Baughman. “It was so big and so beautiful your eyes begin to glance up and see just how majestic the rotunda is.”
She said it was a moment crafted for quiet reflection, taking in the magnitude of the nation’s farewell.
“The way that this president showed respect for others, showed kindness for others, the way that I want to be able to model that behavior. I think always you’re looking for what it is, that you learn about yourself through the way a life was lived by someone else,” said Pastor Baughman.
So what was there for a millennial to learn? One too young to recall the Bush presidency.
Pastor Baughman took her intern along on the trip and SMU Perkins School of Theology student Mara Morehouse said it is the former president’s impact on the present, that made her pause.
“We get to come in in this moment and say, ‘yes’ and affirm this unity that we’re seeing of all different sides come together and mourn an incredible person in our history regardless of whether you agree with him or not,” says Morehouse. “I’m a millennial– I think we’re hungry for that kind of leadership.”
The kind that challenges people to live differently.
“Think about that person you don’t agree with, the one who you struggle the most to love,” says Baughman. “That’s the way we are called to be a loving and welcoming community.”