Sunday, April 22, 2012

R.I.P. Charles Colson

It's been a week of many losses, as so many people have died this week.  I know, I know, lots of people die every week.  But this morning's news of the death of Charles Colson made me stop again and resolve to remember that I do not have an infinite time upon this planet.

I felt far sadder about the death of Levon Helm, the drummer for the Band, the amazing talent for so many groups through the decades.  I felt fonder of Dick Clark.  With Charles Colson, there was plenty not to like, both before his born again transformation and after.

But in hearing his biography again, I was stuck by the way that grace works its way in through the cracks.  I was amazed by how transformation is possible.  For all the ways that Chuck Colson does not represent my beliefs about Christianity, I am forced to admit that he did so much to bring grace and transformation to others.

I am most impressed by his prison ministries and his work towards prison reform.  Would he have followed this route, had he not spent time in prison?  It's hard to imagine.

It's interesting to me that a copy of C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity is the book that led him to evangelical Christianity.  It was given to him while he was awaiting arrest after his indictment for his involvement in the Watergate mess.  It wasn't a fundamentalist or an evangelical book, but C. S. Lewis was the one that led Colson to Christ and to his career as one of the world's most famous fundamentalists.

I am not a fundamentalist or an evangelical, and I imagine that Charles Colson wouldn't like me any more than I like him.  But that's a great message from our God:  we're all equally loved and there are so many ways of radiating that love back, so many ways of being the light God's love in the world.

No comments: