Dear Gov. Sanford,
My name is Phillip McCart. I'm a thirty-one year old husband, father and student pastor. Years ago I went to vote for the very first time and I shook your hand. I was impressed. As I moved all over the Southeast I still followed your success as a politician and was encouraged by your walk with God.
Yesterday I heard your most recent news. Today I watched your press conference. I couldn't watch yesterday due to busyness and frankly, I just didn't want to believe what I'd heard. Unfortunately in my circles (that being the circle of Southern Christian Church people) compassion is in low supply. While we live and preach a life covered by grace and forgiveness, we are slow to extend the grace we have so freely received.
As I watched your press conference, my heart broke. My hopes for your future and the high place of honor I'd given you fell. My heart broke for your wife; for your children; for your closest friends; for the thousands of people you have influenced. But mostly my heart broke for you. I'm hurting for you. I'm not hurting because of you. I'm hurting for you. I know you must feel lower than you ever have. You are still God's child. You are covered in His grace.
Lately there have been many public announcements of infidelity. I'm sorry you are one of those many. I'm sorry that you will be made fun of; ridiculed; outcast; shunned; forgotten. I want you to know that I believe you are truly repentant. I saw an honest heart of brokenness as you spoke. I'm choosing to believe the best in you not because of your former reputation but because our Father chooses to believe that about you.
As silly as this might sound, I would love to meet you and shake your hand once again. I would like to in some small way begin to change the reputation of the American Christian Church. I would like to pray for you and with you. I'd like to share a cup of coffee and hear you laugh at a joke. As I imagine there hasn't been much laughter for you lately. I'd like to see you holding on to the promise that He will "never leave you or forsake you." Thank you for your service to our State. Please do whatever God calls you to do to reconcile yourself to Him, your wife and your children. As a Student Pastor in Charleston if there is anything I can do to assist you and your family, please don't hesitate to ask. You are loved.