Many were saddened by the death of Chuck Colson last week at the age of 80. He was a Paul-like figure in both his conversion to Christ and subsequent work on behalf the Gospel. I remember speaking with one of his biographers several years ago and he said Chuck's work in the prison ministry and other efforts would mark him as one of the giants of the church in the 20th century.
I remember first hearing him speak at a conference at Wheaton College back in 1987 I believe. He spoke about the cultural crisis facing the West as it jettisoned its spiritual and ethical moorings. The lectures were the basis for his book, "Against the Night." I always enjoyed hearing Chuck speak; he was articulate, interesting and spoke with authority.
His work on the importance of Christians being involved in politics was important in my thinking as I sought to sort out my life's work. And beyond that he work on the importance of a biblical worldview applying to all areas of life has been a constant source of encouragement and challenge to me.
I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Chuck on several occasions. I found him extremely approachable and encouraging. When I went through a period of sickness several years ago he was always encouraging and concerned. I think that was an unique aspect of Chuck, his concern and interest in people, individuals. He wasn't aloof, arrogant or distant which we often find with public figures.
I presumed Chuck would have many more years of service before he went onto glory, but the Lord had other plans for him. His passing is another reminder of how short life is. Life is short and eternity is long.
His passing is certainly bittersweet. All of us who knew him will miss him, but he has passed on to glory and the presence of the Lord which is certainly better by far.