“The man’s a sissy,” I thought. His words and demeanor seemed too sweet, artificial, affected. I didn’t like him from the first moment he opened his mouth to talk to me. You know how some people seem to be putting on piety and it shows? Well, that’s how Ken Maurer affected me. I just didn’t like him.
Over the course of the next year, I would come to learn that his piety was not artificial, his demeanor was not saccharine, and this man was no sissy – not by any stretch of the imagination. He was a man of God, a man of faith and had an unyielding devotion to his Saviour. He was as genuine as salt. I would come to learn that it was my own impoverished, cynical soul that made me see him the way I did on our first encounter. I grew to have an enormous respect for this intelligent and caring human being. I would take every course he offered, and some I would take twice (without credit) just to glean as much as I could from him.
Dr. Kenneth Maurer was the Dean of Evangelical Theological Seminary. He founded the school, single-handedly kept it afloat for years, served as its President and Chair of its History Department. There were times he even served as its janitor. He was President of the American Association of Church Historians for over twenty years. He was a man of vision, and nothing stood in the way of his fulfilling the task the Lord laid on his shoulders – not sickness, not finances, not work, not the most demeaning of tasks. Nothing.
His fingerprints are on my life, in my mind, on my soul, and all over my faith. He taught me the value of knowing my roots and my fathers’ history. He brought his beloved Scripture to life and instilled an appreciation of the scripture’s vitality in his students. The longer I live and study my Sovereign and His word, the more I realize that Yeshua used this man to help mold me, my faith, my ministry, my life.
It occurs to me that there have been others, too – some I recognize and some I don’t. But I have come to appreciate the gift that the Lord gave me in Ken Maurer. And, as I considered that notion, my mind followed the rabbit trail to others who were used to help shape this old George. Some did it with kindness, some with meanness; some with wisdom and some with ignorance; some with grace and some with abuse.
But, they all made a deposit in me which God has used and is using to help mold my life. Many of the experiences have been very pleasant and many have been very painful. But in it all, God has been the potter. Now, in my autumn years, I am just beginning to learn how to be thankful for both.
Thank you, Lord, for your fingerprints left on us through other people’s fingers and the way you used them in our lives.