With so much anger and division boiling over in the country, nothing could have come at a better time than Rep. Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) return to Congress. It was a powerful moment exactly when America needed one — watching the hobbled Majority Whip make his way across the House floor, a scene many wondered if they’d ever see again. Just months ago, he was hovering between life and death, the victim of a vicious shooting that forever changed his life — and countless others’. Now, he’s returning to Congress — reminding Americans what’s truly important in the process.The picture of survival and strength, Scalise talked about how overwhelmed he was by the outpouring of love, warmth, and prayer over the last three and a half months.
“It’s given us the strength to get through all of this and to get to this point today. And it starts with God, when I was laying out on that ball field, the first thing I did once I was down and couldn’t move anymore is I just started to pray, and I’ll tell you it gave me an unbelievable sense of calm knowing that at that point it was in God’s hands. But I prayed for very specific things. I will tell you pretty much every one of those prayers was answered. And they were some pretty challenging prayers that I was putting in God’s hands — but He really did deliver for me and my family and it just gives you that renewed faith and understanding that the power of prayer is something that you just cannot underestimate so I’m definitely a living example that miracles really do happen.”
It was a tragedy, he said, that transcended politics. Democrats, Republicans — it no longer mattered.
“So many of you, again both Republican and Democrat, reached out in ways that I can’t express the gratitude and how much it means to me, Jennifer, and our whole family. It really does show the warm side of Congress that very few people get to see. I want to thank each and every one of you for that. You don’t know how much it meant to me.
“…Every one of us, we come here and we fight for the things we believe in. I have passionate beliefs for some reason some of you don’t agree with all of those, but it is so important that we come up here, we are the People’s House. This is the place where these ideas are supposed to be debated, and we fight through those issues, but ultimately we come together.”
While the country struggles to find its footing in so much turmoil, Steve reminds us that there’s something that binds us all together as Americans: a common kindness, compassion, and decency. “I got to see that goodness in people,” he told his colleagues, “and while some people might focus on a tragic event and an evil act, to me all I remember are the thousands of acts of kindness and warmth that came out of all of this and kept me going through all of it and again just reemphasized just how wonderful most people are and how much compassion there is out there.”
From all of us at FRC, welcome back to Congress, Steve! We continue to pray for your complete recovery, but in the meantime, we’re looking forward to getting back to the business of defending faith, family, and freedom with you in the House.
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
Also in the September 28 Washington Update: