I heard that you passed on to heaven this past week. I was so incredibly sad because you were one of my mentors. Like my own Dad you were so encouraging and never told me that I couldn’t reach for the stars in fact you often asked me to reach further.
Even though you weren’t Latino you taught me in so many ways about the power of !Si se puede! You taught me how to be confident; you taught me how to dream and scheme. You taught me how to keep climbing that mountain; how to not wait for things to happen but how to make them happen. You believed mountains could be moved and you moved them.
Your belief in possibilities has resulted in so many things coming to fruition.
Your great love in raising your son with Down Syndrome led to a dream of a clinic that helps support parents in raising healthy children with Down Syndrome.
You believed that kids and young adults with Sickle Cell disease should and could receive the best treatments available so they could keep dreaming. You believed that cures were possible and helped pioneer cord transplants to cure this disease. You believed that a small Children’s Hospital in Oakland could continue to offer the best medical care to ALL kids in Oakland and Alameda County.
You were always genuinely interested in people and always listened to folks’ ideas so intently. One of your many special gifts was the ability to listen to people and then help them spin their idea into something marvelous and amazing that could help others.
You were probably one of the most generous and giving men I have ever met. Your heart could hold the world. Your compassion for others had no limit.
Your legacy will continue as long as we strive to help everyone… always… no matter what because we can and we should. It is possible to move mountains and cure diseases and have a big heart and warm smile. Bert Lubin you were a saint of our times.
So my dear Bert. I am thinking I want to move some mountains. I am thinking about you and how you have inspired me over the years. You have inspired me to have “holy boldness.” **
I can see you nod your head and say “that’s great”. “You should do it!”
So I am gathering you dear Bert, my parents, Harriet Tubman, Dolores Huerta, the woman who made a sacred space for Elisha, the woman who washed Jesus’ feet, the hemorrhaging woman and Mary Magdalene and so many others and I am letting them pull me through. The artist Michael Rosato describes how he wanted his mural to reflect Harriet as a “woman of compassion but also asserting a certain authority”. I believe it is her “holy boldness”.
In this mural we see the hemorrhaging woman reaching out knowing that if she could just touch him…all would be well and her faith would heal her. Her “holy boldness” gave her more.
The Spirit is moving. My prayer is “lead kindly light.” And dear Spirit please, oh please fill my heart, my whole being with “holy boldness” so that I can do and be what God is calling me to be. Help me to reach out and feel the Spirit move through me and help me to take the hand of those that reach out to me and help me be the hand that reaches out to others with compassion. AMEN.
**Note “holy boldness” was used to describe the woman who welcomed Elisha in a homily by Timone Davis– featured woman preacher on the site Catholic Women Preach.