by Max Lucado
A revival can begin with one sermon. History proves it. John Egglen had never preached a sermon in his life. Never.
Wasn’t that he didn’t want to, just never needed to. But then one morning he did. The snow left his town of Colchester, England, buried in white. When he awoke on that January Sunday in 1850, he thought of staying home. Who would go to church in such weather?
But he reconsidered. He was, after all, a deacon. And if the deacons didn’t go, who would? So he put on his boots, hat, and coat and walked the six miles to the Methodist Church.
He wasn’t the only member who considered staying home. In fact, he was one of the few who came. Twelve members and one visitor. Even the minister was snowed in. Someone suggested they go home. Egglen would hear none of that. They’d come this far; they would have a service. Besides, they had a visitor. A thirteen-year-old boy.
But who would preach? Egglen was the only deacon. It fell to him.
And so he did. His sermon lasted only ten minutes. It drifted and wandered and made no point in an effort to make several. But at the end, an uncharacteristic courage settled upon the man. He lifted his eyes and looked straight at the boy and challenged: “Young man, look to Jesus. Look! Look! Look!”
Did the challenge make a difference? Let the boy, now a man, answer. “I did look, and then and there the cloud on my heart lifted, the darkness rolled away, and at that moment I saw the sun.”
The boy’s name? Charles Haddon Spurgeon. England’s prince of preachers.
Did Egglen know what he’d done? No. Do heroes know when they are heroic? Rarely. Are historic moments acknowledged when they happen?
You know the answer to that one. (If not, a visit to the manger will remind you.) We seldom see history in the making, and we seldom recognize heroes.
But we’d do well to keep our eyes open. Tomorrow’s Spurgeon might be mowing your lawn. And the hero who inspires him might be nearer than you think.
He might be in your mirror.
From When God Whispers Your Name
Copyright 1994, Max Lucado