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Friday, April 27, 2012

He was "Chuck." Held in Highest Regard.

I first met Chuck Colson in 2001 at a gathering for Prison Fellowship Ministry volunteers. My wife and I had provided some teaching on biblical worldview at a state correctional facility through PFM, and we were invited to attend the luncheon. I soon discovered there was no “distance” with Chuck Colson. There were no “airs” about him. Although he held 15 honorary doctoral degrees, he was never “Dr. Colson.” He was “Chuck.” Held in highest regard.

Out of that meeting came a relationship. We corresponded several times, and Chuck showed great interest in my work, much to my amazement. Once he wrote, “I pray the Lord will continue to open every door for Worldview Matters to get your message to the masses….the need for what you are doing is greater today then ever.” This kind of encouragement spurred me forward. I’m especially feeling his encouragement after his passing last week.

Chuck contributed the Foreword to a book I co-authored with Don Johnson, called, Making the Connections. It was written for school teachers on how to integrate biblical worldview with academic subjects. Writing Forewords to books was something Chuck’s board studiously guarded him against. But somehow Chuck did an “end run” for this.

In 2008, I enrolled in his Centurions Program, and my relationship with Chuck strengthened. One day, at a Centurions residency, I asked Chuck if he would do a video interview to help me get word out about my work in the field of biblical worldview integration with labor. I knew I was asking for the moon. But to my astonishment, Chuck did this.

The morning after he received the Presidential Citizens Medal from George W. Bush in the Oval Office, the second highest honor an American president can bestow upon a civilian, Chuck made two videotapings to help with my work. I invite you to view these clips:



His final speech was given March 30. I urge you to listen to a recording of his remarks just prior to his inability to continue speaking. 

As I write, I’m feeling Chuck’s legacy in a very personal way. I can hear him saying, “Carry on, Christian,” as only an ex-Marine Captian can say it.

In the spirit of “carrying on,” I urge you to read and sign the Manhattan Declaration (here), and become a Centurion (here). I know Chuck would want me to ask.

Thank you, Chuck.

This photo was taken on November 17, 2001, the day Kathy and I first met Chuck Colson. With us is Randy Schulz, then Washington Alaska Field Director for Prison Fellowship Ministries, who introduced us.

With Chuck's daughter, Emily, who later wrote Dancing with Max,
a book about her autistic son, Chuck's grandson, Max.

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