Tag: jounral

Mel saw it before I did

 
He focused on people where he found them, not where he wished they were. And, he did it by showing them the way. Some things just have to be seen: love, forgiveness, and grace to name a few. Mel was a instigating preacher ahead of his time…a generation ahead.

While Mel was forcing us to think, he was showing us how to love the unlovable, how to forgive the underserving, and how to dispense grace without earning it. “WOW, now that’s good news!”

He was different. Before we used words like “mentor” or “counselor” or “coach” to refer to leaders, and before people dared to think of the preacher as a friend, he was all of the above.


During the summer before my freshman year in college, Mel was one of the keynote speakers for a youth rally at my home church. I had closed the morning with a challenge for those teens younger than me. It was a life changing experience. During the lunch break, Mel asked if we could talk a bit, so we walked out to the back side of the parking lot. When we reached the fence separating us from the creek, Mel turned toward me, looked straight through me, put his hand on my shoulder and asked, “Ronnie, you ever thought about being a preacher?”

“Absolutely not,” I relied, “they move every two years, somebody is always mad at them, and they don’t have any friends.”

That was that, but a seed was planted.

Almost three years later, following a horrific car accident that tossed me free of the high-speed crash that killed a close friend, Mel visited my room and just as he left, he asked, “Ronnie, God has plans for you, have you thought any more about being a preacher?”

He had planted the seed and tilled the ground.

Mel was different. And he was good at it.

May 11, 2012 | 0 Comments More