The Verrets are founders of Witness to Love: Marriage Preparation Renewal Ministry and co-authors of the handbook for mentor couples Witness to Love: How to Help the Next Generation of Marriages Survive and Thrive, published by St. Benedict Press, August, 2015.
By the way they both touched the Bible I knew with certainty that the Bible held by Amy Coney Barrett’s husband Jesse for the swearing-in ceremony was not just any Bible, but that it was their own well-read Bible. By the familiarity and firmness with which Jesse Barrett held their Bible, and the similar way Amy touched the Bible, it was obvious that that Bible was both the foundation of their lives and the strong thread that bound them together as a couple.
All too often when an official is being sworn in, they place their hand on the Bible as if it’s just a big fancy old book. Amy and Jesse Barrett held and touched that Bible with tenderness and reverence. They held it as one holds a well-loved family heirloom. No one gave it to Jesse and no one took it from him when the swearing-in was over. It was in his hands the whole time. This same Bible showed up at her swearing-in at the seventh circuit court as well a few years ago. (I remembered seeing it then as well — a gold-leafed Bible with a soft leather cover.)
Immediately, I had to know whose Bible it was. What’s the story behind the Bible? More important than the story behind the Bible is the witness that they both gave to our nation as to how they are living out the truths within it. The day after the swearing-in I was listening to EWTN Nightly News and they said it was a family Bible belonging to Amy and Jesse. To my knowledge no secular outlet noted this.
The Bible is not a prop or an empty book for Jesse and Amy Barrett. It’s the center of their lives, their marriage, their family, their careers, their decisions and their service.
Amy placed her hand on the book that is the foundation of her life. She is very familiar with the words within it. “Perhaps I was born for a time such as this” … “greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend” ... “well done good and faithful servant” ... ”the word of God is living and alive”…
For Amy and Jesse Barrett it’s no empty book, no gilded collection of pages, but the scale with which they balance their lives. It is filled with the words of their loving Father. When Amy was questioned as to why she would have allowed her family to go through the grueling scrutiny of the nomination and public hearings, she said that it was both because of her family that she would have considered rejecting the nomination but also for her family that she accepted the nomination. It would be hard for anyone, so why not her? The life of a Supreme Court Justice is a life of public service and sacrifice in the United States of America. It’s a lifetime appointment. It is a responsibility that only a small fraction of us would be able to commit to or comprehend. The presidency is only for four or eight years. Justice Barrett may be on the court for decades.
So often when we look to those in a lifetime of public service we know little about their families or their spouses. For Amy and Jesse Barrett this is a service of sacrifice and a joy that they take on as a family, as a couple, and as Christians who love their country. Because of their sacrifice and their witness I am inspired and encouraged to better serve both my family, my country and my God.
Thank you Jesse and Amy Barrett for your witness to the One who holds all of our lives in the palm of his hand. Thank you for being an inspiration to women everywhere. Thank you for letting our daughters know that there is a place for them in the future of our country. Thank you for being a witness to each and every senator and American family who watched and listened to your confirmation hearings.
I believe that in my lifetime there has been a no more historic moment for women than your nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. Generations to come will follow your writings, consider your deliberations, read your dissents and study your life. Thank you for saying yes.
If given the chance to sit down with any politician, celebrity or person in the Church I would choose Jessie and Amy Barrett. I would want to ask them about their decisions, their family, their faith in God — and most importantly I would want to say thank you!