By now you likely know that South Carolina’s Tim Scott has become the first African-American Republican from the South to be elected to the United States Senate since Reconstruction.
Logic dictates that he won the seat because more people voted for him than voted for his opponent.
But there’s more to the story.
Isn’t there always?
How Tim got to the night of November 4th is a tale almost too good to be true.
But it isn’t.
Flashback to 1972.
President Nixon would embark on his famous trip to Communist China, months before winning a landslide reelection. The war in Vietnam was still raging red hot, eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team were massacred in Munich during the Summer Olympics and the United States and the USSR signed the SALT 1 treaty attempting to limit nuclear arms.
But in South Carolina, a seven-year-old’s whole world was falling apart.
Tim Scott’s parents had just divorced. His father, a member of the Air Force, was no longer part of his life. Destitute, along with his mother and brother, the young family moved in with his grandparents. There they lived in a two bedroom home, with his grandparents in one and the two boys and mother in the other.
As Tim tells the story, his grandfather would come to the breakfast table each morning with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. For the next thirty minutes his mother’s father would pore over every inch of the news. It made an impression on the young boy, that education was important, that learning about current events was a critical component of a person’s responsibility as a citizen.
Tim took it all in and took it to heart.
He devoted himself to his studies and worked a part-time job while in high school for a Chick-fil-A restaurant. His salary went back into the family, which was still trying to make ends meet. The operator of the store, John Moniz, began mentoring him. Tim would later graduate from Charleston Southern University with a degree in political science.
It wasn’t until thirty years later, though, that Tim found out his grandfather couldn’t read.
His grandfather might have been illiterate, but he was setting an example for his grandsons.
The lesson wasn’t lost on Tim.
Prior to Senator Scott’s election, I had the pleasure of sitting down with him and talking about his life and his strong Christian faith. I hope you’ll click here to listen. In the meantime, please keep Senator Scott and all of our elected representatives in your prayers. Their jobs are difficult – and critically important.
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