[vc_row fullwidth="false" attached="false" padding="0" visibility="" animation=""][vc_column border_color="" visibility="" width="1/1"][vc_column_text disable_pattern="true" align="left" margin_bottom="0"]Let's get one thing straight from the start. This is the guy who didn’t finish a book in high school. My freshmen year at Wheaton found me crying in my sister's house because I had no idea how to write a paper. The Lord must have been pulling some serious strings and applying a truck-load of grace to secure enrollment for me in the first place. Nonetheless, I stumbled, struggled and picked my way through 4 years. Reading and writing was a necessity, not a joy, with one exception: my Gen-Ed class, Literature of the Western World (or something like that). As a Bible major, I would only have 1 English requirement, but it would make all the difference. Ironically, it had nothing to do with the content of the class, but the man teaching it. His name: Roger Lundin.
I am sure I struggled through the reading and probably churned out some trash-worthy writing, but what was inked onto my heart was unforgettable. I wanted to be in this class, to do well, to take in whatever I could glean.
As I reflect back, I realize that I received more pastoral training from Roger Lundin, my English professor, than from any Bible or theology class. That statement held true throughout my seminary years as well. What was it? What distinguished Roger from all others?
Characters, places and plots came to life because of his willingness to step into the story. He was a living letter, written to me every time I sat through his class. He wasn't afraid to pen the letters, words and sentences right in front of me. It was the first time that I felt like the person telling me the stories had actually been a part of them. I could easily reject what he was saying, take his stories and cast them aside. Like any student, I was skilled at tuning out a teacher, but he spoke of things no one else dared to speak. It was hard not to listen. He stepped into a place of humility - telling his own hurts, doubts and struggles with faith, somehow weaving them together with great works of literature. Tragedy in literature would be coupled with a story of his own loss and a God who was big enough to handle both the beautiful and tragic moments. He modeled grace and incarnation with no guarantee that I might in turn do something with it.
He risked those stories on a 19 year old kid from Tennessee, who limped through reading assignments and currently prays no one ever finds something he wrote during that time. For that, I am grateful. I didn't deserve it, but I guess that's how grace works.
Thus, I begin putting words down to digital paper for everyone to see, critique, reject or whatever. My flesh screams at me not to risk it. I shouldn't be writing, but am reminded of Paul's words to the Corinthian church that they too were living letters of Jesus, written by the Spirit onto human hearts. My prayer is that these words, sentences and paragraphs would sing of the grace and goodness of the One who risked it all to love me, save me, and call me his own.
In the same vein of keeping words alive, have you had anyone in your life like Roger? I would love to hear about it.[/vc_column_text][mk_icon_box2 icon_type="icon" icon_size="64" icon="mk-li-paper-plane" icon_color="#02b3ff" title="Follow Chad's Blog and never miss a post." title_size="24" title_weight="inherit" title_top_padding="10" title_bottom_padding="10" align="center"]Subscribe Here to get the good stuff delivered to your inbox every week.[/mk_icon_box2][/vc_column][/vc_row]