offline act of kindness
I’m hunched over on a heating grate at this standing room only Starbucks hotspot on the corner of 47th and Broadway, keeps me toasty, warm, and online.
My afternoon meetings with Tim Keller and a few other people his side and from my side was dynamic. As it is with these closed door meetings, I am not at liberty to comment much more. I don’t do well at formal meetings, and I do put some of them together occasionally. I made some perfunctory remarks, smile broadly, head noddingly. There’s a place for polite conversations, and I tend to keep it overly polite here on my blog also (knowing some of my readers would prefer a more raw and authentic voice.)
I’ve long had this dread/ fear/ dislike/ anxiety/ discomfort about strong leaders, because I don’t like leaders that run over people, when leaders force their will on others, when leaders aren’t able to show compassion for people’s feelings, can’t relate to people b/c they’re too driven with tasks.
After the formal meeting was over, I was invited (okay, elbowed) into an one-on-one personal dialogue with Tim. Those were treasured moments. I will go on the record and say this: Thank you, Tim! You’ve showed me much grace in your act of kindness to check-in with me, and exercised keen adeptness at decoding my remarks. And thanks for the invite to the Redeemer open forum tonight too.
Wow – is this the fame Tim Keller whom sermon was published and quoted around so much?
Love your website, been perusing it now for about two months.
Since you don’t know me, I’ve been emboldened to make a few comments your latest journal entry about meeting Tim Keller.
Based on what you wrote, I believe that if you grew up in the 1930’s in Germany, you would have been a Nazi. If you had grown up in China during the Mao years, you would have been a Communist.
You see, your journal entry betrays a “leader-idol” predisposition in you. Anyone who approaches leaders with a certain amount of trepidation and hand-wringing (as you openly acknowledged), only to gush profusely afterwards about the kindness and magnetic aura of the person, has a certain predeliction and innate hunger to follow, and to follow blindly. There is nothing wrong to follow great leadership, in fact it can be a Biblical mandate, but there is a fundamental difference between following a great leader, and blindly following a charismatic leader.
This is not a slight on Tim Keller who is a great leader and Christian. But he’s just a human after all, something your gushing comments seem to almost bypass.
Compare your comments on meeting Keller with comments made by someone who met Mao:
The occasion was another dinner party to which my father had been invited and permitted to bring a daughter. It was Mao’s 70th birthday. By 1963, of course, I was no longer a young, ignorant teenager. I considered meeting Mao to be a rare honor, and I was filled with excitement. Mao seemed relaxed, talking to his guests and laughing often. At one point he turned to me and asked what I was doing. I answered nervously that I had finished college and was a teacher of English. Mao smiled kindly and said he could not believe that I was already a teacher. Then he asked if I would like to take him as my student. I was embarrassed and stumbled over my reply. I said, “How dare I teach you, Chairman?” Mao laughed a little and said, “Why not?”
hey Andy. aren’t you reading a little to much into this?