Fox News Senior Analyst Brit Hume tells The Brody File that he saw the "face of God" after his son committed suicide in 1998. Hume talked with me extensively about his Christian faith. Hume tells me the following:
"I went through my adult life with little thought day by day of God or Christ or any of the rest of it. I just didn’t think about it very much. When my son died in 1998, you know, when something shattering like that happens, I think it’s likely to be moment or can well be a moment where you find out what you really believe, and as horrible as that was, and it was bad, and it was heartbreaking and it was unexpected and it was very painful, I had the feeling through it all, that God was there, that He would rescue me from grief and pain, and that, I would get through it, and I knew I believed, and I knew it with enormous force. And things happened during that period that I looked to Him as the only reasonable explanation."
Brit Hume was in our Brody File studios this week and will be one of our featured guests on our weekly Brody File show, airing nationwide this Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET on the ABC Family Channel. Watch the clip with him below along with the full transcription.
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David Brody: I do want to kind of touch on your faith journey a little bit. Talk to me about that. You know, everything from kind of growing up, to the tragic events in 1998 with your son and the trajectory from there, if you will.
Brit Hume: I grew up in the Episcopal church. I went to an Episcopal boys day school for nine years, and I can still basically recite the Liturgy from the old prayer book of the morning prayer service because we said it every day of the week for nine years at that school where I went. I considered myself a Christian. If someone had asked me if you’re a Christian, I would have said, ‘Of course I’m a Christian.’
But I think I was what you would call a nominal Christian. I went through my adult life with little thought day by day of God or Christ or any of the rest of it. I just didn’t think about it very much. When my son died in 1998, you know, when something shattering like that happens, I think it’s likely to be moment or can well be a moment where you find out what you really believe, and as horrible as that was, and it was bad, and it was heartbreaking and it was unexpected and it was very painful, I had the feeling through it all, that God was there, that He would rescue me from grief and pain, and that, I would get through it, and I knew I believed, and I knew it with enormous force. And things happened during that period that I looked to Him as the only reasonable explanation.
You have to understand, I’d been a street correspondent at ABC News eventually covering the White House and was well-known within certain circles, but outside of those circles, even a White House correspondent isn’t that well-known in the country. You’re just not. And when I went to FOX News, I was the second best thing to being in the Witness Protection Program. We were so small in those days. The audience was so tiny that I basically dropped out of sight for more than a year before this happened, and yet, the outpouring of sentiment for me, of sympathy and condolence that I got was absolutely astonishing.
My home address isn’t well-known, and yet somehow, in the weeks that followed that incident of his death, we had to send out ‘thank you’ notes to nearly a thousand people who had written to me. They were in my mailbox when I came home at night, stuffed to capacity, and people sent prayer cards and they told me about trees that had been planted in his name and so on.
I don’t know how, I mean I know it made news around the country that he died, that he committed suicide, but I can’t image, I was astonished at that response. I thought I was seeing the face of God. And I felt enormously lifted by it, I felt grateful for it, and I said to myself, ‘Well, Hume, turns out you’re a Christian. Now, what are you going to do about it?’
And I’ve been trying to answer that question ever since, and I’m constantly (chuckles) it’s difficult to lead the Christian life, it’s not easy. And you know, you always ask yourself the famous question, ‘If somebody accused you of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?’ And I hope, day by day, that some evidence to that effect is accumulating. I’m trying. Not easy.Brody: And you wanted more of that evidence, if you will, in the sense that I know when you left Fox that you talked about the three G’s.You talked about devoting more time to your granddaughters, but also, God, as well. Talk to me about that and what that’s been like since.
Hume: Well, I wish that I could tell you that I have grown in my faith and my walk by leaps and bounds. Every day, I get up in the morning, and I walk out to get a cup of coffee, and my wife is always up ahead of me, and she’s reading the Bible. She goes through it every year. I’ve gone through it altogether myself, once. And I feel like I’m sort of lapped in my walk every day by my great wife, but I’m in there pitching, and I just now came from a Bible study that a group of us do every other Monday.
I’m a little disaffected with the church that I belonged to for so long, and I’m kind of on the lookout for the right place to go, but I’m thinking about it every day and struggling with all the things that we sinners struggle with. You know, Christianity is a religion for sinners, and thank God for me it is.
Brody: Can you imagine people’s lives that don’t have Christ in them?…I’m just wondering without Jesus Christ, I mean, you just wonder what people’s lives would be like without Him.
Hume: Well, I think it’s fair to say that while down deep I had a faith in Christ, I didn’t really live that life for most of my adult life, and I had successes and failures and ups and downs like everybody else, but I can’t say that I had the kind of inner peace that you get when you kind of surrender to your faith and put your trust elsewhere, which is hard to keep doing.
We don’t naturally do that as human beings. We naturally want to take charge ourselves, and we naturally are trying to get God to help us with or plans instead of us trying to help be a part of His plans. And I think that’s part of the struggle, but when you’re doing things, at times, where you have the sense that now I’m on God’s plan, and it’s a feeling worth having.