I got an email from a friend complaining about Keith Henderson’s recent communications with him. The specific complaint is not important (or I would include it here). But the issue raised other thoughts which I think important enough to copy and post here. This was my response:
I have a couple of observations:
Keith is in his 70’s and comes from a more blunt, candid and honest era than the “politically correct” era of today. He has a golden heart, but his candor is sometimes taken to be harsh. It really isn’t. But you have to spend more time around him to see the difference between his language/demeanor in different circumstances.
He takes the role very seriously and wants to do a good job and present the record to the Lord in a faithful and true a manner as he can possibly do. He is quite prayerful about what he’s doing, and despite how it may seem on the surface it is a very big job requiring a great deal of work. He’s spent his own money to have books handmade that will last for a thousand years: acid-free 100% cotton, goatskin leather covers (they are longer fiber leather and much more durable than cow leather), hand sewn gatherings, archival ink, etc. His devotion and work has been something no one knows about, and no one will probably ever hear about from him.
It seems to me that as we move along toward something much greater that is coming soon, we have many opportunities to disappoint one another, to offend and show impatience with one another, and to take offense when none is intended. We all have to be patient and loving–even when we think someone is being impatient, rude and unloving. Most people are only interested in this whole endeavor because they love God and want to follow Him.
I don’t think anyone wants to follow ME. I mean that. What they are trying to do is follow God, and they have some level of trust in me to help clarify what God is doing. I try very hard to not have that trust misplaced. I remind myself constantly about how limited I am, how fallible I am, how prideful and prone to selfishness I am. My wife is a constant critic in the most useful sense of that word. Her criticism is directed at improving my perspective, not in tearing down. She is a guardian I trust and she has never betrayed that trust.
We are facing one of the greatest challenges mankind has faced since the creation. It is almost inevitable we will fail. But the prophecies foretell success. Therefore we must move forward, despite all our individual weaknesses, our vulnerabilities and our foolishness. We must seek to do what the Lord intends to bring to pass. We are left without excuses if we do not attempt, even in our own convictions about how unlikely we are to succeed. For there will be success. It is prophesied and it is the Lord’s work to cause it to happen. It will happen. Therefore however weak we may seem before this daunting task, Zion is going to come and is likely to do so before we pass from this scene. The question is whether we can have faith enough in God to allow Him to work through even so unworthy and inadequate a vessel as you and I.