Today’s Focus on the Family radio program features our late friend and lion of the Christian faith, Chuck Colson. I’d invite you to listen to the broadcast by clicking here.
In the meantime, tributes from friends of Chuck’s are pouring in. He was such a beloved man and a gentleman of the highest order. While many news articles over the weekend seemed to concentrate on Chuck’s White House years, those of us who really knew him know that it was the second half of his life serving the Lord through Prison Fellowship that truly defined him. To only see him through the lens of the Watergate scandal is to see an incomplete portrait of one of the most influential saints of our era. It’s like walking out of a great movie before the plot is fully developed.
I look forward to sharing more about Chuck in the days and weeks to come, but for now, here are some thoughts from those who knew him best:
When I get to Heaven and see Chuck again, I believe I will also see many, many people there whose lives have been transformed because of the message he shared with them.
– Dr. Billy Graham
It is hard to imagine the Christian landscape without Chuck Colson. About the time I began my walk with Christ, Born Again was published. He will be sorely missed. But let us rejoice at the power of a redeemed life. May God bring healing to the hearts of his family and friends and glory to His name.
– Max Lucado
The world has lost one of the most brilliant Christian leaders and articulators of the faith, Chuck Colson. He was a scholar, a constitutional lawyer, and a compassionate humanitarian who befriended lost and lonely prisoners for nearly 40 years … Chuck Colson was a Marine captain (there are no former Marines) and a man’s man. He was like a brother to me and I grieve his loss. His influence on my life has been profound. I look forward to seeing this godly soldier in heaven some day. I am certain he has now heard these words of welcome from his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
– Dr. James Dobson
I salute my friend, brother, and fellow Marine, Chuck Colson, who “fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith.”
– Chuck Swindoll
Just as Jesus wept at the death of his friend Lazarus, we who are our Lord’s disciples weep at the death of Chuck Colson, our beloved friend and brother in Christ, who passed away this afternoon. We grieve but not as those who do not know that Christ has conquered death. We mourn the loss of a great leader but we confidently entrust him to Jesus Christ who is our hope in both life and death.
— Robert George
Like so many of you, I first encountered Chuck through books “Born Again” and “Loving God.” Classics, must reading. I’m not old enough to remember Chuck as a controversial political figure during Watergate, so I have always thought of him mainly as an inspiring Christian leader … Over the past decade, Chuck went from being a demanding boss to being a mentor and a father figure, even a friend. He has been both supportive of my efforts and generous with his praise and his time.
— Eric Metaxas
I was with him the afternoon before his collapse. To an assembled group of friends, he told us with such easy conviction, “I am entirely sold out to Jesus Christ.” For many of us, those were the last words we heard him speak this side of eternity. They ring in the ears.
– Timothy S. Goeglein
Mr. Colson struck me as a man who fell in love and stayed in love with the Lord. He touched countless lives during his pilgrimage.
– Peter Wehner
Although his physical voice may be silenced, his ideas and convictions will carry on via a generation committed to reconciling redemption with reconciliation.
— Reverend Samuel Rodriguez
Chuck Colson’s life was an endlessly eloquent demonstration of the power of God and of Truth to change hearts and transform lives. He was a man of courage–a man who called Christians to take a stand and not bend to the cultural and political whims of the day.
– Alan Sears
He stood in a long line of celebrated converts, beginning with the Apostle Paul on the Damascus road, and including figures such as John Newton, G.K. Chesterton and Malcolm Muggeridge. They were often received with skepticism, even contempt. Conversion is a form of confession — a public admission of sin, failure and weakness. It brings out the scoffers. This means little to the converted, who have experienced something more powerful than derision. In his poem, “The Convert,” Chesterton concludes: “And all these things are less than dust to me/ Because my name is Lazarus and I live.”
It is a strange feeling to lose a mentor — a sensation of being old and small and exposed outside his shade. Chuck’s irrational confidence in my 21-year-old self felt a little like grace itself. The scale of his life — a broad arc from politics to prison to humanitarian achievement — is also the scale of his absence. But no one was better prepared for death. No one more confident in the resurrection — having experienced it once already. So my grief at Chuck’s passing comes tempered — because he was Lazarus, and he lives.
— Michael Gerson
I’d like to invite you to offer your own tribute to Chuck in the space below.