There’s a song by Casting Crowns called Only Jesus, and it’s about not wanting to leave a legacy, but wanting to live for Jesus. I’d say Ravi Zacharias left an incredible legacy of a life lived completely for Jesus. It seems that Ravi lived the way many of us want, or should want- to see people the way God sees them.
I heard the news of his home going on my way to work yesterday. Immediately tears flowed, but my first words out loud- Thank You Lord! It’s a strange mix of emotions we Christians have when someone passes from this life to the next. Especially when we know without a doubt that that person has indeed gone home to the Lord’s House.
Even as I sit here hours later, I still find so much going through my mind of what Ravi has meant to me, but my learning from him, being shaped and impacted by his wisdom and truth, and just having “him along” on my Christian walk is a story in an ocean of similar stories. I truly thank God, that for one, He saved Ravi so many years ago, that He blessed this world with such an amazing servant of Christ, and that Ravi has now gone home where he belongs.
If ever there was a person I’d have loved to meet and interview, it would have been Ravi.
He spoke the same manner of respect and compassion before heads of State, as he did with college students. He spoke out of love and respect towards fellow Christians as he did with hardened atheists or Muslims. He spoke truth in love before Muslims, Mormons and Hindus. He was one of a kind. One that if I were to emulate, I would simply because He lived the commands that Jesus told believers to live. Love God, love one another, love your enemies, be salt and light.
He spoke before Presidents, spoke at the UN, spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, spoke with media, worked with sports stars and scientists… and yet, I would have most likely felt the same interest and respect from him as he showed to everyone- from the greatest, to the unknown.
He reminds me of my Dad in that respect. That no matter who he was talking with, or ‘sparring’ with, he made that person, or a whole audience of persons, feel like they mattered to him, and were at the center of his attention. The most important person to him.
In his book, Deliver Us from Evil:Restoring the Soul in a Disintegrating Culture, he says, “While human beings are equal, ideas are not. By contrast, in the world’s way of doing things we have created an elitism among people and an egalitarianism of ideas: We have made some people superior to others and rendered all ideas equal. The end result has been the exploitation of people and the death of truth…”
Ravi lived seeing people the way God sees them. Equal. And, he lived the truth as superior, because he knew Jesus is Truth.
It was said that he was a trail blazer. That may be, God certainly laid out a path for him, that stretched all over the globe, but Ravi bulldozed it, paved and tended it.
I will be forever grateful that I was ‘introduced’ to Ravi over 20 years ago, and that he has been an incredible part of my faith walk and learning. The world has lost the light of Ravi, but I’m grateful more for the reflection of the light of wisdom, humor, and golden nuggets that are still in abundance over his more than 40 years of ministry and service. We’ll never stop sharing Ravi here on the Porch, so others hopefully can discover the same love and truth that we all know.
While none of us knew him in person, his passing is a deep hurt just the same as personal losses we’ve experienced. And our hearts go out to Ravi’s family and his sweet wife, along with our gratitude to them for sharing him with the world.
Ravi will be always known for being one of the greatest if not the best, Christian apologist of the 20th century. That he most certainly was, but he was an evangelist with the same heart and love for the lost that the best pastors have.
We’ve shown this before, but it’s one of the best ‘sermons’ that I’ve heard over my years of listening, and while there are literally hundreds of ‘ bests’ of Ravi, I have to post this one today.
Because he surely did….
My emotions are a mess. He is among that great crowd of faithful witnesses. It’d be an incredible thing if more of us could learn to share love in truth the way he did, with the gentlest heart, compassion and respect. I know he has received that which all of us long for- Well done you good and faithful servant… You’re home, and seeing Jesus face to face. What an incredible thing. No more imagining…
Have a blessed Wednesday all.