My sister delivered the news today that Chuck Peters has arrived in heaven. My heart is so full. As I tucked my little three year old in for his nap, I wept. I asked God to provide Moses with a friend like Chuck.
My high school years were years of hard questioning. Everything was up for grabs: the speed of light (ha! changeable!), validity of Scripture (ha! Best historical document, but not perfect!), the existence of any God (surely...), the existence of one, true, Jesus-God (but these hypocrites!). With whom could these conversations take place? With whom would I dare to present my questions?
The druggy crowd at my high-school listened my sophomore year, but, at some point one requires answers. Friends listened, but usually could not track with the depths of my questioning. Teachers listened until they were annoyed at the never-ending questions and concluded they would "pray for me."
Chuck spent hours and hours listening to me. He listened to things that hurt me. He listened to the despair I felt when exploring the possibility of Jesus Christ being a farce. He listened, and---by listening---he LOVED me. Chuch spent countless hours in the foyer of our school gym holding conversations just like this with many others. He would take the guys out to eat. He would get me out of classes to persue (the much more advantageous) dialogue with me. He would ALWAYS, ALWAYS point me to Jesus. He didn't always attempt answers to my questions. He would allow the weight of them to linger. This alone was a blessing. Yet he never wavered from holding to the truths of the Scriptures. He always loved Jesus in front of me.
The summer after my Junior Year no one answered my questions. But I lived with a woman who lived with the presence of the Holy Spirit. I watched her. Because Chuck had listened and faithfully presented Christ as glorious, I kept watching. I didn't rule out Christianity. God saved me that summer and has been proving Himself true to me ever since. This was certainly God's doing...and He did His work in part through Chuck Peters.
Chuck cheerfully drove around a bunch of chattering, non-driving, foolish children. He told us about God. He played with us. He listened. He was a huge player in my story of salvation. I am overwhelmed, 20 years later, at God's goodness to me through Chuck. Now I drive around my own brood of five chattering, non-driving, working-on-gaining-wisdom children. I have an opportunity to love them for the sake of the Kingdom, just as Chuck loved me.
You, Chuck, have fought the good fight. You have finished the race. You have the kept the faith. Praise be to our one, true God!