Sunday, April 15, 2007

Rev. Jesse Jackson Eulogy of Jackie Robinson [J. Mark English]

On October 27, 1972, the Reverend Jesse Jackson gave a simple, but powerful eulogy to help put into words what Jackie Robinson's life meant to the game of baseball, but more importantly to our country as a whole. Here is some of what he had to say:

Today we must balance the tears of sorrow with the tears of joy. Mix the bitter with the sweet in death and life.

Jackie as a figure in history was a rock in the water, creating concentric circles and ripples of new possibility. He was medicine. He was immunized by God from catching the diseases that he fought. The Lord's arms of protection enabled him to go through dangers seen and unseen, and he had the capacity to wear glory with grace.

Jackie's body was a temple of God. An instrument of peace. We would watch him disappear into nothingness and stand back as spectators, and watch the suffering from afar.

The mercy of God intercepted this process Tuesday and permitted him to steal away home, where referees are out of place, and only the supreme judge of the universe speaks.

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