I finally finished Clarence Thomas’s memoir today and I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed with understanding, knowledge, compassion, and wisdom.
This book has reaffirmed my love for biographies. We have a tendency to marvel and awe at those in top position without considering for one moment what ‘hell’ they may have had to go through to get there.
Additionally, we’re quick to become critical and judgmental of those in top positions. We critique their way of doing things, their beliefs, and even their political party so much that we tend to forget that they are merely a human being, just like us.
I’m so thankful to Clarence for going into such great detail on his life. He dove right into his harsh upbringing as a poor, black boy in the south. He shared details on his most self-destructing moments; he shared those moments where he even questioned the point of living. You know those moments we’ve all had at one time or another.
He was genuine and direct regarding his failures as a man and as a husband in his first marriage. He expressed his ignorance of not embracing the only man that loved him like his own. He admitted to pride, he admitted to turning his back on God, he admitted to making mistakes.
This book walks you through his life and the even more challenging climb to the Supreme Court. I would have never imagined the extent of his difficulties. I admire him for telling his story with detail and emotion.
At times I was saddened in my gut at the pressure he had to withstand. His story clearly shows that the higher you climb, the more pain you may have to endure.
Clarence’s grandfather told him “Son, you have to stand up for what you believe in.” This was a driving force in his life and one he stood firm on even when the going got tough.
In closing, I must share this. When Virginia, Clarence’s wife, advised him that he had been confirmed to the Supreme Court his reply was “Whoop-dee-damn-doo”.
His soul and spirit had been tested so severely that one of the biggest moments in his life seemed insignificant.
As I read this I thought of how when God elevates us he may also allow other situations to simultaneously humble us.
I must say, and I’m sure Clarence would agree, that there is no way he would have made it to the Supreme Court without the Lord.