The people who influence us most are not those who buttonhole us and talk to us, but those who live their lives like the stars in heaven and the lilies in the field, perfectly simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mould. ~ Oswald Chambers
When I was a junior in college a professor taught me this lesson in a way I’ve never forgotten. It was J term which meant we took one course for 3 1/2 weeks. We met 5-6 hours a day. We were in the third week of a class called Inductive Study of the Bible. The afternoon session picked up where the morning session had ended, with a heated debate about the role of free will in a Christian’s life. Verses were quoted and misquoted, sides were chosen, positions were locked in. After about 20 minutes, Dr. Wilson stood and opened his bible and quietly read Luke 23:44-46:
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
We all watched as tears trickled down his cheeks. He gently closed the worn book and silently left the room. The debating stopped. There was nothing more to add. He taught us that day, as no one had ever taught us before. This gentle, unassuming man, walked in the footsteps of grace.