Having listened to your podcasts for years, read all your books (even Trinity and Process), and done everything but make life-size cardboard cutouts of you for my office, I’ve wanted to write for some time. You are such a needed piece to this Kingdom of God puzzle. I just wanted to affirm you in your role of passionately compassionate lover of people; you are a wonderful pastor.
Raised in the ministry, and currently still surrounded by it, there are very few leaders that I admire (admittedly the charismatic circle may not be representative of Christian leadership as a whole, but, nonetheless, it is my experience). I honor a lot of leaders for the work they’ve done and sacrifices they’ve made, but honoring is different from admiring…..you are the Barnabas. In Acts 15 when Paul was having issues with Mark, finding him unfit for ministry, it was Barnabas who stood his ground, in effect saying, “no, there’s gold inside this one, and I’m going to help pull it out.” The next time we see Paul talking about Mark is in a letter to his spiritual son, Timothy, where he says in II Timothy 4:11, “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is helpful to me in my ministry.” Oh sure, NOW he’s helpful, NOW you want him…after Barnabas got a hold of him. I really see that mentality and gifting–so desperately needed–manifested brilliantly in you; your patience and tolerance are jewels in His crown. Keep it up.
Thanks for everything you’re doing.