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The news on Tuesday that Jean Vanier had died hit me like a punch in the gut. Tears welled up, unbidden.
I can’t claim that I knew him personally. But that’s not quite accurate. Because everyone knew him personally. That’s the kind of person he was. He wasn’t paying attention to the person behind you. He didn’t care if you were a prime minister or a corporate CEO or Mother Teresa — you, as you, mattered.
He was an unprepossessing speaker, by conventional standards. He ambled on stage, almost shambled on, 6-feet-4-inches looking as if he had slept in his clothes, with a great hooked nose that hung over the microphone.
And a smile that stretched from here to eternity.
He talked as if there was only one person out there — and it was you.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: Jean Vanier, L'Arche, love