Hello to all who loved and learned from Ravi Zacharias.
Many years ago my older brother (he and I were the only believers in our family) gave a gift to our father. It was a cassette box set of Ravi’s talks at Harvard University’s Veritas Forum, one of the first of his many publicly available messages. My father never listened to it until one day he and I were on a road trip to Canada. The night before our last day on the road we had a rather contentious conversation about spiritual matters. It is not always easy to talk with one’s own father about such things. But at the end of the conversation that night he promised that he would listen to the cassettes in the car as we made our final leg toward the city of Calgary, our destination. The next day, as we began our journey he listened to first one cassette, then the next, then the next. He never spoke the entire time. Only as we approached the outskirts of the city at the end of the day did he finally open his mouth to say, “This guy’s pretty good.” From my father, who rarely spoke about such matters, and was characteristically taciturn in his praise, this was a high compliment. Near the end of his life, in a rare opportunity for a one on one conversation with my brother, he asked him about how this Christianity thing worked. My brother, who was a pastor, answered, “Dad, it’s a gift. It’s a free gift.” The conversation continued on from there. And my brother and I have confidence now, years later, that our dad is in the Kingdom.
Though I have been a student of Ravi’s teaching for many years, this one moment in my life was especially meaningful, because where I had been unable to communicate very well to my dad, Ravi’s words seemed to break through, and for that I am very grateful. Ravi’s death hits me rather hard. I feel as if I have lost my father again. I remember traveling to Oxford in 2005 just so I could meet him, and then being introduced to Michael Ramsden, John Lennox, Amy Orr Ewing, Stuart McAllister, Alister McGrath and others, all in the space of a week. I am grateful. I’m grateful. But right now I am mourning the loss of Ravi. I know this will be felt around the world.