Dr. Benjamin Carson is awaiting his confirmation vote for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development as I write this. Articles on how to achieve successful cities describe what the confirmation hearings revealed, which hint at a mere fraction of the man and what God is doing with him.
Sure, some have decried Benjamin Carson’s lack of experience, failing to note the significance of his rise up and out of poverty through faith, yes, but also attitude and education. Opinion writer Cal Thomas says that it could be an asset,
“Unlike many top government officials who have enjoyed a life of privilege, he knows what it is to grow up in poverty. That experience will count as he travels around the country telling people how they might overcome their circumstances today instead of someday.”
If the world is moved on personal stories and Carson’s great compassion attributes of being an excellent listener and a quick learner have anything to do with success, I have great hope. His experience with poverty and the way out reminds me of a great sermon quote I heard many years ago,
If you’ve lost your way, it’s better to have a guide than a map.”
Maybe we need more guides and fewer self-proclaimed experts and intellectuals who can’t see the forest for the trees … handing someone lost in the wilderness of poverty a map without a compass. We need resurgent men with a compass to guide the way!
The goal of Housing and Urban Development ought to be like Bailey Park in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life!” A place of self-sufficiency and home ownership and success for working people. A safety net for those who need it. The goal was never to increase the size of Potter’s Field with a Mr. Potter looking to imprison people there in a ghetto of hopelessness.
Dr. Carson knows the way out of poverty. He knows the obstacles and the pitfalls of the path up and out. Could he be a resurgent leader needed for such a time as this? I’d argue, Yes. Absolutely!
The 2008 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient talks about this in his book Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
“Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.”
“Successful people don’t have fewer problems. They have determined that nothing will stop them from going forward.”
When Dr. Carson declined to serve as Education Secretary or Health and Human Services–what the world sees as a great fit for a man whose life and career might have pointed that way–he knew that his Christian beliefs might be a possible detriment to confirmation. It was his humility that caused him to step away from serving in those capacities. So when he was asked to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, he might not seem like the perfect fit, but his love and compassion fit perfectly! God sees Benjamin Carson as following the Savior’s example and just as Jesus came and overcame and sent His Spirit to do work until He returns, God sees that same overcomer spirit in Benjamin Carson, a humble man whose gifted hands have cured babies and helped children through medicine and education. It’s the same attitude written about by the Apostle Paul,
1 Thessalonians 2: 6 We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, 7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 9 Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
Yes, a gentle overcomer spirit is what God sees in Benjamin Carson. That overcomer spirit hearing the voice of his mother telling him that education is a key to rising. That overcomer spirit hearing the voice of Christ calling him to humility. That overcomer spirit which made him an excellent neurosurgeon is the same overcomer spirit whose love and compassion compel him to reach those who are lost and vulnerable and showing them a hand up…and that when you’re lost, a guide is better than a map!