I was saddened to hear the passing of a beloved preacher, Dr. Charles Stanley. He left an incredible mark on this world and although I know he is in paradise, all of us as fellow believers have a small hole in our hearts today.
Yesterday, Dr Charles Stanley passed at the age of 90. He led a long life, dedicated to serving others and teaching us about Jesus, our loving Savior. I personally have followed Dr Stanley’s ministry for over 30 years. Watching his broadcasts on intouch.org over the years, and purchasing his many books and many of his annual calendars that were filled with his beautiful photography. He was a man of many talents. He knew the beauty of creation, he understood the glory of God, and he lived to tell others all about it.
If you’ve been blessed by Dr. Stanley’s ministry, you know what I’m talking about. A genuine man of God, he was, and always will be the first preacher I ever felt a connection. I got a chance to meet Dr. Stanley many years ago while he was on his book tour for “Turning the Tide”.
During my encounter with this beloved man of God was a day I’ll never forget. My first impression of him was how frail he appeared as he walked into the bookstore in my hometown.
I thought, this man that I have watched on television for so many years, I thought was going to be tall, broad shoulders, incredibly larger than life. Instead I saw a man, like any other, but shorter than I imagined and older. This was my first impression in person, however let it be said, this is not my final impression.
I stood in line like many others waiting for him to sign the book held in my hand. I watched in amazement, as I couldn’t believe I was about to meet the preacher I looked up to for so long.
In was my turn, I stepped up to the table and handed him the book. I spoke briefly with Dr. Stanley on that day. As a writer myself, I wanted to know what kind of advice he would give me. Realizing he was on a tight schedule and the lines were long, I knew he didn’t have a lot of time.
This was probably my only chance, so I asked the question anyway. “What kind of advice could you give a young writer?“
Dr. Stanley smiled, “I can’t begin to tell you,” he said.
I knew this was not a quick answer, so I asked him to give me just one word. After a short pause he said, “Diligence.” He smiled and handed me the signed copy. All I could think of was diligence. I stood on the side and watched him for a little longer as he signed more copies.
I went home and immediately grabbed a dictionary and discovered that diligence means; a steady, earnest, and energetic effort : devoted and painstaking work and application to accomplish an undertaking. Wow, that was a lot to unpack from one word.
I took his advice to heart and valued his one word. At the time he was a best-selling author who had written over 35 books. Meeting the man taught me something about myself as well. I saw something in Dr. Stanley that was admirable. I saw God’s love all over him.
In his eyes, the Holy Spirit danced. I saw it. God’s love embraced this man and he was blessing others.
I will never forget that day and I will carry his teachings with me for the rest of my life. One day, I hope to meet him again, this time not in a book store, but in paradise.
I want to end this post with one last thought. Thank you Dr. Charles Stanley. May God give you those heavenly crowns as He says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
More information can be found on Charles Stanley Memorial page. God Bless!
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