Friday, April 20, 2012

You Are Forgiven

Heard an interesting testimony about George W. Bush and unsung grace.

Tim Goeglein was on the Presidential staff through both terms and had distinguished himself. He was becoming a premier liaison between the President and Christian Evangelicals. He served directly under Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove. His periodic column was gaining readership at a surprising rate, and in order to keep up with demands he yielded to the temptation to plagiarize some good stuff.

In an interview with Focus on the Family Ministry he accepted full blame for this serious stumbling, and acknowledged that at the time he was exposed he believed that his political career was finished, if not worse. A reporter reminded him of an Indiana newspaper article in which copied materials appeared without acknowledgment of source. This was only the tip of the iceberg. Pride, he said, was the problem. Having the supposed "last word on the Hill".

He confessed to this reporter and to his family and waited for the response from the Oval Office. He tendered his resignation. First an appointment with the Chief of Staff. Surprisingly this was a quiet and pleasant meeting with no specific reference to the matter at hand. After the weekend he was told about a meeting with the President. In his words he thought for sure that this would be "woodshed time".

But at the appointed hour with a heart-rending apology already prepared, he was to hear firstly from the President's lips, "You are forgiven". He would try again to grovel and pour out his heart. The same words again from the President. And a third time.

Then something quite extraordinary. "Tim I would like to talk with you a while. And what shall it be? The current matter of concern or your eight years of good service with us?"

The relief was unbelievable. The Chief motioned him toward the "special chairs" under the fireplace and George Washington portrait, usually reserved for visiting dignitaries. For about thirty minutes they chatted about many good things and prayed together. (Tim would move on to other challenges, but his relationship with the President would remain solid.)

"Oh, and Tim would you call back to my office and arrange a time next week for your wife and children to come here. I want to express my heart to them as well."

What a wonderful story of the powerful impact and release of forgiveness. And much to the credit of GeeDubya. May we encounter opportunities to operate in this grace, and give the glory to the One who has forgiven us.

(Picture of Goeglein's book released in 2011.)

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