PART TWO: Why Do You Love Me Lord?

The odyssey that has led to the writing of this research paper began a long time ago. It was in the early months of 1978, when a young Military Policeman, stationed in what was then West Germany, found a magazine in a Post Exchange periodical rack entitled, The Christian Reader. It is a bimonthly periodical something like Readers Digest, only with all Christian stories inside. It was not so much the stories that caught the young soldier's attention, but rather an advertisement. It read, 

Introductory Subscription Offer

Yours Free, From Christianity Today

(when subscribing),

the $12.95 Hardback Edition of

How Should We Then Live?

by renowned Christian author

Dr. Francis Schaeffer.

Schaefferthe name rang a bellfrom a book the soldier had been given years before by a close friend. That book was entitled L'Abri, and it was written by Dr. Schaeffer's wife Edith about their ministry of the same name. Even now, as the retired soldier opens up a special edition of that same book, with its red velvet cover and gold-leaf page edging, he is filled with an emotion, caressed by time, and the memory of a very special family who changed his life for good, forever. Inside that special edition, under hand-drawn mountains with birds flying above are penned the words (and these are not imaginary),

May 23, 1978

To Allan -

With many thanks for your very careful help in our garden and house at THIS point of L'Abri history and our personal history. Surely the Lord has prepared the ground of our individual lives and has "planted" us in the places of His choice to bring forth HIS harvest in us as well as through us. When the new "flat" place becomes a grassy spot surrounded by a terraced rock garden we will speak of the lasting imprint of your being in L'Abri. My prayer is that your being here will make a deep and lasting imprint in your life and fruitfulness. May God continue to give you HIS strength to do whatever He leads you to do.

With love in Him in whom we are one family,

Edith Schaeffer.

As the retired soldier reads again what he has read so many times before, and now especially as Easter time is coming, the question that has haunted him so many times before surfaces again, "Why, why, does my Lord love me so much? Why did He bring this family, from the mountains of Switzerland, into my life?"

Then from an old notebook, with some of the pages starting to yellow around the edges, there is an entry which reads,

"1100 hours, 11 April 1978 - I didn't really want to study the Bible. I wanted to read God Calling and other Christian books that I could relate to.

"Today out of thankfulness to Jesus for receiving a letter from (a friend), I opened the Bible to Acts 16. It specifically caught my eye because it is the account of when Paul chose Timothy to be a Disciple.

"I noticed the other references in the left column where I could find out more about Timothy. I want and will be a Timothy. Who is Timothy? This I will research each day." (Personal Journal)

As the retired soldier opens up an old battered New American Standard Bible to Acts 16, and sees the passage about Timothy colored in red pencil, he realizes that this is the Bible in which he studied about Timothy on that April morning many years ago. The Bible had then found its way into a box of books with other old Bibles until the soldier became a student at Philadelphia College of Bible. This Bible school is the only place, all previous churches attended included, where the NASB had been used as the Bible of choice. As the soldier thinks about this connection between past and present, he again asks the question, "Why, why, does my Lord love me so much? Why did He bring this family, from the world of Christian academia, into my life?"

Then further on, in that same old notebook, the answer to both questions is given:

James 1:25 - "But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does." (NASB)

The retired soldier knows that many, many times he has been a forgetful hearer and has not been an effectual doer. But he realizes that the Lord desires to bless him even now, in his middle age. For it is never too late, like Caleb of Joshua's day, who at 85 years of age, was able to take the mountain of Hebron away from the Anakim because he sought to be an obedient servant of God (Joshua 14).

This paper is about another Caleb, who took the time to train up a young soldier for the battle of life, and then very simply wrote, inside the front cover of a $12.95 hardback edition of How Should We Then Live,

To Allan In The Lamb,
Francis Schaeffer.

 

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