Newsletter Posts

Do You Believe in Miracles?

December 23, 2022

Watching President Zelensky address Congress on Wednesday night reminded me of a joint session of Congress I attended in 1989 to listen to Lech Walesa.

  • I had been in East and West Berlin just days before, a witness to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.
  • Walesa began his speech with these words: “We, the People…”
  • He continued: “I do not need to explain that I, an electrician from Gdansk, am also entitled to invoke them.”

Earlier that year, the Solidarity movement in Poland had achieved something of a miracle.

  • After four decades of communist rule and Soviet control, Solidarity had gained power and Poland had gained freedom.
  • Walesa thanked Congress and the American people for our support, and added:

“These are appreciated, but being a worker and a man of concrete work, I must tell you that the supply of words on the world market is plentiful, but the demand is falling. Let deeds follow words now.”

Poland’s peaceful transition from communism to democracy seemed a miracle to those of us who grew up during the Cold War. Followed by the miracle of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Followed days later by the miracle of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution.

Zelensky reminded me of those miracles and the miracle of David’s victory over Goliath.

As I have written before, my experiences in the late 1980s and early 1990s led me to believe in wondrous events and to believe in taking great risks for great causes.

  • I think rural electrification was a movement of profound importance.
  • The work we are engaged in today with electric cooperatives is equally important.

I grew up in a Jewish and Christian household, celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas.

  • One year, we celebrated Hanukkah in Jerusalem and then Christmas in Bethlehem.
  • Tonight, my boys and I will light the candles of the Menorah. Sunday, we will drive across the Potomac River to visit my brother and his family to exchange Christmas presents.

Whether you celebrate the miracle of light or the miracle of the Virgin Birth, I wish you a Happy Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas.