We all have people in our lives who impact us, and long after they’re gone, we carry their spirit and memories in our hearts; in many ways, they mold who we are. I think fondly of my grandpa Schuller’s impact on me, and I attribute part of who I am to him. Essentially, his dream was to bring the message of a loving, hopeful God in a world full of possibilities for you, just as you are, to millions — and he did it!
I remember at my grandma Schuller’s funeral being seated next to Pastor Rick Warren, whom I had never met. He was head of Saddleback Church, one of the largest churches in the world. As one of the other guest pastors spoke, he instructed us to hold the hand of the one sitting next to us, even if they were strangers. The guided exercise emphasized human connectedness and the value of a loving touch from those around us. It seemed like a long time to hold hands as he and I looked at each other without saying anything, in gentle agreement. It was good enough.
Friend, afterward, Pastor Warren shared with me, “Saddleback church only had about a hundred people in it and we were struggling, but I still had this dream in my heart. Your grandpa paid my way into the Institute of Successful Church Leadership. After I left the institute, I knew I needed to step into God’s bigger vision.” Over the years, I have heard this story so many times from pastors, women, and men who had big dreams in their hearts. Today the message of a loving, hopeful God in a world full of possibilities is still available for you and I.