A Little Footnote to Your Personal History


Imagine this.

You are sitting in the pew of a church with a cathedral-high ceiling. Stain glass windows.

It’s lit with sunlight but a tad chilly.

Eventually the pastor approaches the lectern, sets his Bible down, reaches inside his wool sport coat and pulls out a pair of reading glasses.

He then cracks open his Bible.

He leafs through a few pages, anchors his finger on a text and then reads.

He reads the text with a sober, but soft voice. And when he’s finished, he removes his glasses and launches into his sermon.

Nothing out of the ordinary or cause for concern.

You listen, take notes, smile, laugh, look at your boots, scratch your elbow, stare at the stain glass window behind the lectern.

Then, with about ten minutes before his sermon ends, the pastor embarks on his own personal story.

His salvation story.

Quickly you learn that central to his story is a man. You don’t catch his name. But that’s own purpose. And, as you’ll see, that you don’t know his name isn’t important.

Not to his story. Or my story.

What you do catch is the role this man played in the pastor’s life. A significant role, to say the least, because it was this man who introduced the pastor to Christ.

Eventually he does name the man. And you’re shocked. But not for the typical reasons.

You’re shocked because you don’t have a clue who this man is. You’ve never heard of him before. And you feel…well, somewhat embarrassed for the man.

Why embarrassed?

Because the man is a nobody. He’s not a towering figure in history who the world knows.

He’s not a Theodore Roosevelt. Gandhi. Or Mick Jagger. In the world’s eyes, he’s a failure. Unfortunately, you toy with this idea that he’s a failure.

But to the pastor this obscure, unremarkable man is perhaps one of the most significant persons in his life.

Have you ever heard a pastor tell a story like this? Whether in your own church, a church you visited or at a conference?

I’ve probably heard this story told–in a variation of forms–four times in the last ten years.

[Could be more, but only four actually stand out.]

And I’m ashamed to admit that each time I heard the story…I frowned. Frowned because the “poor” man who led the pastor to Christ is unremarkable. Obscure.

He’s not a legendary CEO. A stellar actor. A current president. He’s just a man who introduced a person to Christ.

And that kills me each time.

Each of these men are footnotes in the lives of these pastors. But significant footnotes. Meaningful in the eyes of eternity. The only point of view that truly matters.

Why am I telling you this? Simple. I want to be a footnote in your life. A meaningful reference anchored somewhere in your life.

But not for my own glory. For Christ’s glory, of course.

This is one of the reasons I want to pour myself into this blog: To educate you and encourage you, to correct and condition you towards Christ.

I’ve got slim hopes that I’ll actually lead someone to the Lord. But if I can nudge you just a smidgen in the direction of Christ and the hope found in his grace…

If I can merely point you to the heavenly city where our omnipotent King sits enthroned…

If I can equip you to fight the good fight of faith or impress upon you the support and care you have from me in the form of constant prayer and supplication…

I’ve succeeded.

Whether you remember it or not ten years from now, I’ve succeeded in becoming a little footnote in your personal history.

Truly, the real reward will come when we sit together in the banquet hall with our bridegroom. Together, in adoration and zealous celebration of the only person who could have satisfied the justice and wrath of God–Jesus Christ.

But until then–and years from now–may you remember the tiny dent you got when you collided with Christ at Fallen and Flawed.

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