A special reflection from Rabbi Eckstein:
In the past two months, the world has lost two giants of the Christian faith – two men who, I note with unending gratitude to God, I was privileged to call friends.
I was deeply saddened to learn of Chuck Colson’s passing. He was a friend to me, and a supporter of The Fellowship – in fact, he appeared on some of our early TV specials. Never straying from the firm convictions of his Christian faith, he nonetheless reached out in common cause with Catholics to stand against secularism, and with Jews to help Jews in the Diaspora return to the Holy Land.
Not long after Chuck’s passing, I was in Jerusalem and heard of the death of Rich Buhler. A giant in the world of Christian radio, Rich was also a dear friend with a generous and loving spirit who played an important role in helping to launch the work of The Fellowship. I will miss him greatly, and will never cease to be inspired by his example; he truly served as a model of holiness, an angel of God.
Sorrow is a part of our lives. Chuck Colson and Rich Buhler are not the first good men the world has lost, nor the first good friends I have lost during my lifetime – I recall that early this year marked the 20th anniversary of the death of my dear friend Jamie Buckingham – and they undoubtedly won’t be the last.
But, as people of faith, we cling to God’s hope, even in our sorrow. I remember the beautiful words of Psalm 84, “Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you,” and I think of Chuck and Rich together, at peace in the house of God, ever praising the One to Whom they dedicated their earthly lives. May this image reassure us of God’s goodness and faithfulness, and be a comfort to all the dear ones they left behind, and indeed to all who mourn the loss of these two extraordinary men.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein