CNN published an email on Thursday that was sent to failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on the morning of Nov. 9, 2016, the day after her loss to Donald Trump, by United Methodist City Society executive director, the Rev. Bill Shillady.
In the email, Shillady, who has been Clinton’s long-time spiritual guide, compared her loss in the 2016 election to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“It is Friday, but Sunday is coming. This is not the devotional I had hoped to write. This is not the devotional you wish to receive this day. While Good Friday may be the starkest representation of a Friday that we have, life is filled with a lot of Fridays,” Shillady wrote.
Shillady has long maintained a “pastoral relationship” with the Clinton family. He even co-officiated Chelsea Clinton’s wedding to Marc Mezvinsky in July of 2010 and led the memorial service for Hillary Clinton’s mother, Dorothy Rodham.
In an interview in June, Shillady said that Clinton “reads her scripture and prays each and every day,” giving her the inspiration to be “strong in the midst of unpredictability” as she dealt with the decisive defeat President Trump handed her in November 2016.
Shillady said he began giving Clinton devotionals back in 2015 when she told him she would be seeking the presidency. After reading the day’s headlines, he would write a personal devotional for her. “My team of writers and I used passages of scripture, a reflection on that passage, and a prayer to support her, depending on the events that were taking place,” Shillady said.
After Clinton’s defeat, Shillady wanted to lift her spirits, so he continued sending her the personal devotionals which Clinton said: “gave her strength in the midst of the loss.”
Shillady says Clinton advised him to publish some of the 600 devotionals he created for her, which will be released in October 2017 in a book titled, “Strong For a Moment Like This: The Daily Devotionals of Hillary Rodham Clinton.” It will be organized into themes like forgiveness, courage, doing good and women.
“Even though Jesus told his followers three days later the temple would be restored, they had no idea of what that Sunday would be,” Shillady wrote in his email to Clinton. “They betrayed, denied, mourned, fled and hid. They did just about everything BUT feel good about Friday and their circumstances.”
According to the Christian faith, Good Friday is the day that Jesus willingly suffered and was crucified to death on a cross as payment for the sin of all mankind.
“For us, Friday is the phone call from the doctor that the cancer is back,” Shillady told her. “It’s the news that you have lost your job. It’s the betrayal of a friend, the loss of someone dear. Friday is the day that it all falls apart and all hope is lost. We all have Fridays. But, as the saying goes, ‘Sunday’s coming!’”
He carried on with his theme, further noting, “Today, you are experiencing a Friday. Your Friday is what happened in the last few weeks and last night in the tragic loss. But Sunday is coming!”
Shillady closed with these parting words: “You know one of my favorite sayings is ‘God doesn’t close one door without opening another, but it can be hell in the hallway.’ My sister Hillary. You, our nation, our world is experiencing a black Friday. Our hope is that Sunday is coming. But it might well be hell for a while.”
According to The Atlantic, Clinton told Shillady that she has always wanted to preach:
Last fall, the former Newsweek editor Kenneth Woodward revealed that Clinton told him in 1994 that she thought “all the time” about becoming an ordained Methodist minister. She asked him not to write about it, though: “It will make me seem much too pious.” The incident perfectly captures Clinton’s long campaign to modulate—and sometimes obscure—expressions of her faith.
Shillady says Clinton has deep knowledge of the Bible and, coupled with her years of “caring for people and loving people,” he believes she would be a great minister.
“I think it would be more of … her guest preaching at some point,” he clarified. “We have a long history of lay preachers in the United Methodist Church.”
Clinton has her own book coming out this year in 2017. Titled, “What Happened,” the 500+ page book will be about her loss in the 2016 presidential election. Scheduled to be released on Sep. 12, it will reportedly focus on two primary “reasons” for her loss: Russia and then-FBI director James Comey.
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