Driving Away the Shadows
By Steve Goodier
When Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on
April 14, 1865, he was carrying two pairs of spectacles and a lens
polisher, a pocketknife, a watch fob, a linen handkerchief, and a
brown leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate note and
several newspaper clippings on the Lincoln presidency.
Why did he keep the newspaper clippings? Some of them extol his
achievements as president of the United States. In one, Henry Ward
Beecher is quoted in a speech as saying, "Abraham Lincoln may be a
great deal less testy and wilful (sic) than Andrew Jackson, but in the
long race, I do not know that he will be equal to him." The reporter
then writes, "The storm of applause that followed this seemed as if it
would never cease."
Why would he carry such a clipping? If we know anything about Lincoln,
we know that humility was one of his most attractive virtues. I can't
imagine that he read from the article during political discussions or
entertained dinner guests with its keen insight.
I do not know the answer to these questions. But I am aware that
Abraham Lincoln suffered from bouts of serious depression. Could it be
that in those "dark nights of the soul," when despair settled over his
mind like a cold and heavy snow, that he could reach into his pocket
and find hope? Could it be that these words reminded him of what he
had dedicated his life to, the good he had tried to do and the lives
he had affected?
Francis of Assisi once said, "A single sunbeam is enough to drive away
many shadows." We are all collectors of sunbeams. We may have saved
away letters and mementoes that warm our hearts and encourage us when
we need a lift.
And we can all be radiators of sunbeams, too. A letter, card or note
of sincere appreciation can drive away dark shadows like nothing else.
Will you be giver of the light?
Publisher@LifeSupportSystem.com is a professional
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