Hope Amidst the Fragility of Life Wisdom From Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Leah and Walker on the Wheaton College, IL campus , June 2010.

“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.” Albert Schweitzer, German, theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary to Africa (1875-1964)

It’s a rainy day in Georgia as the community of Ferguson, Missouri waits. Nearly 7,000 miles away, tensions mount, MO Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency, and the FBI has been called in. While I have no worries about them being nearby, our son and his new wife live in St. Louis, only 30 minutes where all of this turmoil is taking place.  The Nation is waiting to hear whether or not Police Officer, Darren Wilson will be indicted for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 19, 2014.  Thankfully, Michael Brown, Sr. and his wife are strongly discouraging violence and even have folks giving out free turkeys to residents of Ferguson as a gesture of kindness. I am thankful these grieving parents are aiming to set the right example for those in their path. In addition, Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President states that the organization has always stood for non-violence.

I hope and pray that this community can come to a peaceful resolution soon.

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others.  It is the only thing.” Albert Schweitzer

I am reminded once again that we only get one chance at this life…this is no dress rehearsal and I want to continue to rise up and encourage others to do the same as we go forward in our daily journey. HOW, I ask, can you and I make a difference in the life of someone today? How can our example have a positive impact in the life of another?

One of my Daddy’s mentors and heroes in life was physician, Albert Schweitzer. This green plaque hung in Daddy’s home until he passed on.  Dr. Schweitzer was known for emphasizing reverence for life, as he sought to encourage respect for how precious and unique each life is. Winner of the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for this philosophy , Dr. Schweitzer is most famous for his 1913 founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Gabon, West Central Africa. His legacy lives on today through the service of and to others in this hospital.

“The purpose of human life is to serve, to show compassion, and the will to help others.” Albert Schweitzer


“I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end.” Albert Schweitzer

“The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” Albert Schweitzer

How does Ferguson, MO connect with the work and life of Dr. Albert Schweitzer  decades ago, one may ask?

We are all, each one, given the sacred gift of life, and I think film actress, Eleanor Powell (1943-1959) says it well:

“What we are is God’s gift to us and

what we become is

our gift to God.”