Horowitz's office wall also features framed front pages from 1959, when he worked in Alaska: "Congress Approves Alaska Statehood" and "We're In." But more than a sense of passing time pushes him. Horowitz has on his desk a stone from Auschwitz. He has a small volume, Holy Scriptures for Jewish Soldiers, that his uncle carried across Europe as a member of George Patton's army. Like Private Ryan in Steven Spielberg's World War II film, Horowitz seems haunted by words from long ago: "Earn it."
Could God be a loving deity willing to save Private Horowitz if he doesn't earn it? "I don't think of God like that," Horowitz says. "I envy people who do." Might he ever have confidence that he's done enough? "No. My God sets high standards. He's my superego." Horowitz then engages in what sounds a bit like bragging: "North Korea. Sexual trafficking. I've done these things. No one else has done what I've done." But a minute later comes despondency: "I'm a failure."
Horowitz, like some other passionate people, cycles rapidly through moods. He speaks of his accomplishments. Then he cycles to failure. Then he blames others: "Where are the leaders?" He names some who have sat on the sidelines. But whatever the mood, the excitement remains. The sense of calling remains. That's something, in a Washington filled with cynics. The song that concluded the college basketball season earlier this month, as it has done for two decades, resonates: "One shining moment, you knew you were alive . . . One shining moment, you reached for the sky."
We reach for the sky, and God reaches down. My thought upon leaving Horowitz's office as he finished his depression cycle: Is there ever a clearer need for the balm that Christ can bring? My words to him: "Mike, look at how many people you've helped. It's a wonderful life." Tears came to his eyes.