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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Great and the Small, Part 2—The Man Who Inspired a Congregation … Sorta

            So often, when we praise others, it’s because of the great things they do and the numbers of people they impact. However, rarely do we praise the one man who inspired only one. I’m going to do that today.
            Recently, I re-listened to the story of how Lon Solomon, of McLean Bible Church, came to Christ. The piece of the story that intrigued me the most is the part where he mentions the man who first showed him the gospel, Bob Eckhart. This man spent many hours on the Chapel Hill Campus of the University of North Carolina driving around in a white, Econoline van, playing hymns, in the hopes of spreading the Good News to non-believers. Lon, at that time, called him the weirdest man in the universe. Many people spit on this man, cursed him and threw his Bible tracks back in his face. And yet Bob continued relentlessly, eventually winning over a young man whose life had been sinking into an abyss—Lon Solomon.

            Mr. Solomon, many years after his conversion, asked Bob how many people he thinks he’d brought to Christ. Bob told Lon he was the only one he’d known about.
            Why is this story so great? Well, for me, there are two scenarios. One, that this man had worked all that time for a single lost soul, who would then feed potentially millions. Or, that there were countless souls affected in which he knew nothing about. If the former is true, then take a look. Lon Solomon is the very effective pastor of an ever-increasing mega-church. His sermons reach thousands, maybe more, every week, with the message of Jesus Christ. And without Bob that messenger may not have ever known it himself. So, in other words, Bob indirectly impacted many lives.

            Now, what if the latter is true? I know there were many people, strangers and acquaintances, I recall today, who through their words and the actions to back them up, impacted my faith greatly, though I never had the opportunity to tell them. I believe this too is the case with Bob Eckhart. Though some may have thought him weird, there were others inspired by his dedication in the face of mockery.
            So if you labor for Christ and don’t always see its fruits, go to the One you labor for. He will give you rest and send you back into the world to do His will. And having done that, His glory will be revealed whether you see it or not.

Check out the other posts from this series:

The Great and the Small--God

The Great and the Small--How One Small Girl Inspired a Ministry of Access

The Great and the Small--The Button Lady

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