Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chuck Colson, in Memoriam

I have two heroes in the faith.  Joni Eareckson Tada and Chuck Colson.  Chuck Colson, whose radio program I listened to every morning (or read as an email) has passed away, and in his case that is not a euphemism.  He has passed away from this life and into the total and unique presence of God.

He has passed away from his life's work, or at least the second half of his life's work, discipling prisoners and serving as a prophet to the modern American church that we must think Biblically about everything. 

He has passed away from those naysayers who couldn't accept that even though he committed crimes, he was transformed and did more for the country and humanity than they could ever dream of.  One time on Nightline we was being interviewed at the same time Bob Woodruff was.  Woodruff had the nerve to act superior; Colson was clearly annoyed by Woodruff's "I got you put in jail" attitude but kept his cool.  And what has Bob Woodruff done for humanity?

He has passed away from his family and his beloved grandson Max, about whom he spoke so compassionately.  Max has autism spectrum disorders, and Mr. Colson sought to humanize them and everyone when the world would push them aside and Hollywood would present them as entertaining freaks.

He has passed away from a number of Christian social movements that he championed, notably pro-life.

He has passed away from all of us who follow his writings and were challenged by his ideas.

I saw and heard him speak one time at a banquet.  He was speaking for the pro-life organizations in Chattanooga.  I signed up to help so that I could get a chance to hear him.  This was in the '90s.  The speech was not memorably, really, but I was glad to see him in person. 

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