Gerald R. Ford

Everybody in Grand Rapids has a Jerry Ford story. This is mine.

When I was in high school, Jerry Ford had been congressman forever. (He was first elected to congress before I was even born.)

I had a research paper to write … can’t remember now what the topic was … but somebody told me to get the info I needed from Congressman Jerry Ford. So I wrote to him, and he wrote me back. He sent me everything I needed for my research, and wrote me a personal letter, which I kept.

A few years later, when I was in college, I was sorting through my childhood stuff. I remember picking up the letter from Jerry Ford, looking at it, and saying to myself, “Oh, just throw it away, he’s just Jerry Ford, he’ll never amount to anything.”

This was not because I didn’t respect him, but rather because I thought America was only run by people far more sophisticated and powerful than this man of simple integrity.

So I threw away the letter. And time taught me a great lesson: Never despise the day of small things … and never doubt the difference a simple, decent person can make on God’s earth.

Eccl 9:13-18:

13 This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:

14 There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:

15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.

16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.

18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

Eccl 5:7-8:

7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

8 If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

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