I Want to Be that Man
I sat down right now planning to write about my first day at my new home. There’s plenty to write about. I want to try to describe the beauty of the bright red brick, white-trimmed buildings set against the relief of the greenest grass I’ve ever seen. They don’t build places like this out in California. Buildings don’t carry with them history and tradition. But they seem to here.
I was also planning to write about the kindness of my friend Dan Gnagy, who braved the heat and humidity to help me move all my earthly possessions up three flights of stairs into my new apartment in Fuller Hall. God’s people are special gifts to each other.
And then there’s the insights I gleaned from the Word of God as I listened through Matt Chandler’s 20-part sermon series on the book of Hebrews during my 2700 mile drive. The moments of quite meditation while watching corn and mountains and rivers fly past proved to be fertile ground for the Word of God to work in my heart. Whenever my car finally gives out, it will be sad to see it go. Many quiet transformational moments with the Lord have unfolded while sitting in the driver’s seat of that nondescript mostly grey 1992 Corolla.
I sat down to write in what I think is the Honeywell (or is it Honeycutt?) Student Center (Student Union?), and couldn’t help but overhear the conversation of the three silver-haired men of about 60 or 70 seated in the next cove over. They weren’t talking sports; they weren’t talking weather. They weren’t talking theology. They were talking personal spiritual health. And one of them leaned in and said in a lower tone of voice, “Now, here’s my question for next week. And I’ll ask it now because I want to give you two time to think about it and give me a real good answer. When Jesus says to love my enemies, how do I do it? Because I don’t do that well.”
I want to be that man. I want to be that man who is silver haired and tender to the whispers of the Holy Spirit. I want to be that man who is 65 and still fighting the boots-on-the-ground war against the blackened arenas of my life where the atonement has not yet trickled down to throw the curtains open. I want to be that man who diligently and resolutely seeks to be known by other men to the degree that anyone who fights to keep up a spiritual-whitewash facade would think me to be committing nonsensical suicide of reputation.
And more than that, I want to be that kind of man who makes it not as strikingly unique for the next generation to see 65 year old silver haired men sitting in a student union building talking about the state of their souls and begging friends to impart the gospel yet again to them.