America has been obsessed with the Kennedy family for 50 years or more. There was Joe, the war hero shot down in a mission. Then John, the returning war hero who became president and ushered in "Camelot" -- also gunned down in his prime. Following John was Bobby -- a visionary who probably would have been president in 1968 had he not been murdered.
And then there was "Teddy." He seemed to live in his brothers' shadows. He had severe personal problems -- drinking and carousing. The death of Mary Kopechne still remains a mystery -- and cost him dearly as a serious candidate for president. But he trudged on.
I have often wondered at the Kennedy family's passion for helping the downtrodden. After all, here is a family of rich aristocrats. You would think they would be concerned about higher taxes, etc. But they all seemed to have a deep-seated concern for the poor and disenfranchised. My cynical side has asked what they had to gain by this. And although I struggle with how far government's role should go, I keep coming up with the same answer for the Kennedys: I cannot think of anything they had to gain -- other than the satisfaction of trying to help improve the life of those who are "lesser."
Tonight I will be speaking in Crockett. It is always a little bit like going home. Our 5 years of ministry there were SO rewarding. And even though we see most of them only once a year -- it seems as if we have never left. Old friendships are immediately new again.