SMILE! Peace, Bob

SMILE! Peace, Bob

Yesterday was a sad day with the sudden death of Bob Edgar. He was an extraordinary man. The “Forrest Gump of Religion & Politics,” he’d often tell those he met for the first time.

A pastor; a college chaplain; founder of Philadelphia’s first shelter for homeless women; a Member of Congress; a faith leader; a peace activist; a close friend & mentor. A liberal lion that roared for the people and the voiceless. He restored my faith in politics, in Washington, in the power of idealism.

He had five honorary degrees “but only five arrests for civil disobedience,” he’d say. The last one took place in the Capitol Rotunda two summers ago, in the same marble halls where he represented the people of southeastern Pennsylvania.

Whether you were the Speaker of the House or the doorman of a restaurant or a seventh grader writing a civics paper, you were treated with the same attention and kindness. I think that if he had a little more notice, he’d have written a three word note to everyone he cared about — in all capital letters, bold font, italicized, underlined, and highlighted:

“SMILE! Peace, Bob.”