“Few things are so deadly as a misguided sense of compassion.” – Chuck Colson
I was introduced to Chuck Colson via the radio. My mom would listen to KNX 1070 AM out of L.A. as we would ride to my private Lutheran school in Covina as she would prepare to commute into the City of Angels. He was a guest spotlight on Dr. James Dobson’s brief radio segment “Focus on the Family.” I was intrigued by his delivery of conviction for those who needed compassion and hearing of his stint in prison. Oddly enough, I had been introduced to the man before.
Some time after Watergate, when Gerald Ford served as the President of the United States, my father had ranted on and on with one of his fellow academic and intellectual buddies about Liddy, Colson and Nixon. I was real small then, but I knew something about Nixon. Liddy and Colson were just names to me, but I knew Nixon. I knew that California had produced a former Senator and Vice President to Eisenhower, eventually electing him to White House after a bitter defeat against JFK previously. I just heard the name Colson, from overhearing my dad and his academic brothers saying, and how he got what he deserved just like the rest of them, the crooks.
I never would have put the two together if I had never gotten back into church and tried to earnestly find my ministry in service to God. I got into evangelism, including a neat program called Angel Tree. Angel Tree helped the children of the incarcerated with Christmas gifts during the Christmas holidays. I loved the concept. I eventually learned that it was through Prison Fellowship which was founded by Chuck Colson.
The light went off in my head. That was the dude who my dad and his friends had bad-mouthed so badly due to his political slip-ups and the same guy who had been interviewed by Dr. Dobson. Imagine that. People do make changes in their lives. Colson demonstrated so.
I read his book The Body numerous times. He hit me hard with a true perspective on the universal church of God as one body, one family, to God’s glory. I also read Life Sentence and Faith on the Line. Both books challenged me. Life Sentence gave me a new perspective on how we can live with God’s consequences and still seek to learn the life lessons in the midst of our misery. Faith on the Line let me see that the challenge to be courageous and go against the social and political grain must be met by those who have the faith to depend on God’s strength in times of such monstrous need.
God bless what Colson learned and learned to live out, writing, speaking, preaching, teaching and ministering to those in need. He truly served his time.