After experiencing a swift decline in his health in recent weeks, former President George H.W. Bush peacefully died at his home in Houston on November 30, 2018.
Mere hours before his passing, the 94-year-old’s long-time friend and former Secretary of State, James A. Baker III, visited him. Reportedly, Bush instantly became highly alert and talked with his dear friend. The short conversation revealed the 41st President of the United States’ unwavering Christian faith.
As the two were conversing, Bush asked Baker, “Where are we going, Bake?” The former Secretary of State responded, “We’re going to heaven.” Bush then said, “That’s where I want to go.” The poignant moment of assurance was a testament to the 41st President of the United States’ strong faith. As he was about to leave this world, Bush knew where his soul was going. In addition to Baker, other friends and family members surrounded Bush at the time of his death. Son and 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, “W,” told his father that he’d been “a wonderful Dad.” “W” also reminded his dad that he loved him very much. Responding to this sentiment, the elder Bush stated, “I love you, too.”
Baker was in the room when Bush died. He described the wonderful moments of peace that accompanied his friend’s final breaths. The former Secretary of State remarked, “I can’t even hardly talk about it without welling up. It was as gentle a passing as I think you could ever expect anyone to have. And he was ready.” The rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson Jr., was also with Bush when he passed.
The minister revealed, “There was no question he knew where he was going and who he was going to be with. He was looking forward to being with Barbara and Robin again.”
Bush’s beloved wife of 73 years, former first lady Barbara Bush, passed away in April of 2018. The couple’s daughter Pauline Robinson Bush, “Robin,” died at the tender age of three from leukemia.
A couple of weeks ago, Baker asked Bush, “You want to live to be 100?” The former President replied, “Yes, I do, but I don’t think I’m going to make it.” Regarding his close friend, Baker said, “This is the most competitive man I ever knew in my entire life. He demonstrated that right up until the very end. He competed with death — although he did say it’s time to go. But he kept fighting, he kept coming back.”
As Bush passed from this life to the next one, friends and family members were reportedly singing “Silent Night.” Baker stated, “Believe it or not, the president was mouthing the words.” When Bush began to slip away, Rev. Levenson said friends and family members “knelt around him and placed our hands on him and prayed for him.” The minister stated, “It was a very graceful, gentle death. It was very evident that that man was so deeply loved.”
Throughout his prestigious political career, Bush showed Americans glimpses of his closely held Christian faith. The former President started his 1989 inaugural address with a prayer. He prayed, “Heavenly Father, we … thank You for Your love.” Bush’s cabinet meetings allegedly always began with prayer. Every night before going to sleep, Bush and his beloved Barbara prayed together.
Mentioning her spouse’s faith, the former first lady once said, “My husband prays and believes enormously.” During his term in the White House, Bush referred to prayer in an astounding 220 different remarks, speeches, and proclamations. In hundreds of letters, the former President thanked citizens for praying for him and proclaimed that he received “great strength” from their prayers.
Pray for the Bush family as they mourn the loss of their loved one, the 41st President of the United States. And, strive to follow Bush’s example when he admonished, “Without God’s help, we can do nothing,” but “with it, we can do great things.”
~ 1776 Christian