Francis Allen led me to Jesus, and now it was nearly time for Francis to meet Jesus face to face. I was at his home as it grew time for him to say goodbye. I wanted to say something memorable and meaningful.
For nearly an hour I stood by his bed. He laughed hard at the stories I told on myself. Then he got tired, we got serious, and he spent his energy rounding off some rough edges he still saw in my life. I listened, even as I tried to sort out how to say goodbye.
He stopped me before I got the chance. “You remember, Randy, what I’ve always told you. We have nothing to fear from the story of life because we know how it ends. I’m not afraid. You go do what I’ve taught you.” Those challenging words reminded me of what the apostle Paul said to the believers in Philippi: “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do” (Phil. 4:9).
Francis had the same twinkle in his eye this last day I saw him as he had the first day I met him. He had no fear in his heart.
So many of the words I write, stories I tell, and people I serve are touched by Francis. As we journey through life, may we remember those who have encouraged us spiritually.
Who has been your mentor? Are you mentoring others?
Live so that when people get to know you, they will want to know Christ.
Paul often showed his appreciation for people who had worked with him, and he often singled out individuals for special mention in his letters (see Rom. 16; Col. 4; 2 Tim. 1:16-18; Titus 3:12-13). It is estimated that he designates some 80-90 people as his “fellow workers” in the book of Acts and in his letters. Included are fellow missionaries and interns, independent ministry associates, traveling companions, fellow prisoners, and supporters. In today’s passage, he urges two women to reconcile and lovingly acknowledges that these women, together with Clement (not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament) and an unnamed list of fellow workers, have labored with him in spreading the gospel (vv. 2-3).