After Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election to Donald Trump last November, she went hiking—and she also turned to religion. That included getting a pep talk from her pastor.
The Reverend Bill Shillady revealed this week that he sent an email to Clinton the morning after the election, and it talked about Good Friday, the day on which Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified. According to a copy of the letter posted by CNN, Shillady acknowledged that “this is not the devotional you wish to receive this day,” but he took her through the story nonetheless.
“For the disciples and Christ’s followers in the first century, Good Friday represented the day that everything fell apart. All was lost. The momentum and hope of a man claiming to be the Son of God, the Messiah who was supposed to change everything, had been executed,” Shillady wrote. “Even though Jesus told his followers three days later the temple would be restored, they had no idea of what that Sunday would be. They betrayed, denied, mourned, fled and hid. They did just about everything BUT feel good about Friday and their circumstances.”
Shillady told Clinton that she—and the nation, which ultimately gave her the popular vote—was in the middle of such a Friday but needed to hold on.
“Our hope is that Sunday is coming. But it might well be hell for a while,” he wrote.
Clinton identifies as a Methodist, and she’s previously said that her religious upbringing helped her personal development. Shillady, the executive director of the United Methodist City Society in New York, and Clinton met in 2002, according to the Associated Press, and they became fast friends. The pastor attended both her daughter’s wedding and her mother’s memorial. During last year’s campaign, he wrote her daily devotionals.
He’s recently collected those messages into Strong for a Moment Like This, due out next week. Clinton wrote the foreword for the book, which, according to the publisher’s website, includes 365 devotions “along with personal notes, portions of her speeches and headlines that provide context.”
As for Clinton, Shillady said she’s finally reaching her proverbial Sunday—which, as he told McClatchy DC, may even include a stint preaching.
“She’s the most relaxed I’ve ever seen her, having fun with her grandchildren. I think she’ll continue to speak out on issues that are important to her, on women and gender and children’s health,” Shillady told CNN. “‘Sunday’ is not another election for her. She’s moving on with her life.”