Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Today, the earth lost a great man, but heaven gained a saint. The doc (Jerry Falwell) went on to be with the Lord this morning, and the mood here on the campus of Liberty is pretty somber. Somber, only because of the deep connection we all felt to him, whether we knew him personally or not. We all looked to him as a spiritual leader and as an example to follow. We, the students, know that we're here because doc saw the vision of a unique Christian university and followed the Lord by faith to see that come about. There is also another feeling on campus that only comes because of the hope that we have in Christ. When I first heard that he had passed, I opened my Bible to I Thess. 4:13 and read..."But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord."
I've been here for 3 years now, and my respect for doc has grown with each passing day. Sure, I've heard all his sermons at least twice now, and all of them boiled down to one thing...make the most out of your life and do something great for the cause of Jesus Christ because His kingdom is the only thing that matters in the end. At least that's what I heard, and that's what I'll remember doc saying to me.
I have a few things that I'll keep in my memory of doc. Once, I was in the drive-through at Wendy's, and I noticed doc two cars behind me, by himself. I thought..."I'm going to pay for doc's dinner. How much could it be?" Apparently he was sneaking a few cheeseburgers before he got home to Macel because his bill was like $9! I gladly paid. Another instance I'll remember was meeting his vehicle on campus. Doc was a prankster, but I pulled one on him this time. I swerved at him just before I met him, and when he went by, his fist was in the air with that big grin on his face. When you shook doc's hand, you knew it. He'd wrap that "bear paw" of his around your hand, and you were lucky if you got away without being punched in the stomach!
I graduated with my undergrad degree here in 06', and the only reason I wanted to walk at graduation was to get my picture made with doc. He was in bad health at the time, so he didn't take pictures, but I always carried my digital camera in my truck so that if I caught him on campus, I'd get my picture. Sadly, I never did.
I was checking some posts online today and ran across this one by Larry Flynt. It's easy to get your comrades to like you, but when someone of a totally different worldview respects you, that's says a great deal.
"I hated everything he stood for, but after meeting him in person, years after the trial, Jerry Falwell and I became good friends. ... I always appreciated his sincerity even though I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling." - Hustler magazine founder, Larry Flynt.
Many of us miss the doc, but we all carry a little of his passion for Jesus and his drive to see people come to the saving grace of Christ.