If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
—2 Chronicles 7:14
I’ve been a prayerful man and faithful church participant since childhood. And both in our home and when dining out, before I break bread, whether with family and friends or in business meetings, I always say the following grace: “Father, we thank you for this food for the nourishment of our bodies. And Lord, we thank you for this day and this fellowship. And Lord, we ask that you continue to give us strength to do the things that Thou would have us do, not our will. Amen.”
Given that I’m also a strong believer in using my Godgiven talents, I was convinced in 2006, after having vanquished life-threatening stage-four cancer, that I could help to rally the voice of “we the people,” which had been hijacked by partisan politics, government bureaucrats, and the influence of money on elections and legislation.
While my having survived cancer against the odds was a major tipping point in my decision to seek the Republican party’s presidential nomination in 2012, I first realized my need and responsibility to do so many years earlier, actually a few minutes before ten o’clock on the evening of Jan. 22, 1999.
That was when I held my first-born grandchild, Celena, in my arms only moments after her birth. I’ll never forget that moment. As I looked at her beautiful little face, I realized that I needed to move beyond the corporate world to the political arena and use my time and the talent I’ve been blessed with by God to help make this a better world for her sake, and for all the other little faces.
While you’ve just read some serious stuff, the timing of Celena’s arrival was not without its humorous aspect. I wasn’t supposed to get back from a business trip out of town in time to be there for the blessed event—but I did, and my first granddaughter was born only minutes after my arrival at the hospital.
The labor had already been going on for three days. I kept calling home and the hospital, asking my son, “Do we have a baby yet?”
“No, Dad, we don’t have a baby yet.”
Day two: “Has the baby been born?”
“No, Dad. The baby hasn’t been born.”
Day three: I was on my way back to Atlanta and I was supposed to arrive in the evening. I called Vincent when I landed at the airport: “Vincent, do we have a baby yet?”
“No, Dad. We don’t have a baby yet!”
“Is Melanie okay?”
“Are there any complications?”
“Why don’t we have a baby yet?”
“Dad, it’s a s-l-o-w baby.”
“I know that.”
I landed in Atlanta at about 8:30 p.m. At 9:30 p.m. I was at the hospital, up in the waiting area, near the delivery area.
I went in and sat down. Vincent was there.
I said, “Vincent, do we have a baby yet?”
“No, we don’t have a baby yet, Dad.”