>As Lindsey and I were leaving Tybee Island this past Saturday, we made it a point to drive through historic Savannah, Georgia. We wanted to see downtown, particularly Reynolds Square, the beautiful home of a monument to John Wesley – complete with an amazing statue, some biographical information, and a brief sketch of historical significance regarding the father of Methodism.
I must confess that I was a bit choked up the whole time we were out of the car at Reynolds Square. As I first approached Wesley’s statue, which boldly occupies the very center of the Square, I found myself surprisingly anxious, being both eager and hesitant. The only way I know to express the exciting yet intimidating feeling I had is to simply say that, while I wanted so desperately to see this depiction of a man upon whose shoulders I humbly stand, I felt grossly unworthy to be in the presence of even a representation of him. I felt myself to be a mere mortal before a glorious god of sorts.
[At this point, you might very well have written me off as an idolater or – God forbid! – one who esteems other men too highly. If so… well, there you go.]
To be honest, I am terribly troubled when I look at the condition of the Church today and try to find someone – anyone – who is a figure like Wesley. Whatever happened to people like him? or Thomas a’ Kempis? or Athanasius? Whatever happened to people who held the attention of what seemed the whole world yet wouldn’t budge an inch when Truth was at stake, not giving one rip about if others thought they were foolish, uninformed, or plain wrong? Where’s the Dietrich Bonhoeffer of today?
Paula Cole, I’m with you, dear… Where have all the cowboys gone?
I tell you, though, I long so much for my precious children to know the significance of people like Wesley. While I looked on in awe, Lindsey beautifully shared with Imogene and Aidan about Wesley and his import, and I’m sure Emery was doing all he could to listen intently. For the sake of the future, we need more men like Wesley. For the sake of the Gospel, we need more cowboys.
As we returned to the car, I couldn’t help but think of those who have even recently held significant public attention only to cave under the intense pressure that comes with it. I couldn’t help but wonder, “Is there anyone, Lord? Is there anybody out there who can handle it? Is there not one who won’t budge?”
And now, as I write this post, I recall the closing words to the immensely weighty hymn I sang to Aidan as he drifted off to sleep just a couple of hours ago… “That soul – though all hell should endeavor to shake – I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!” Sure, all the forces of hell might rise up before him, but through the power of the Spirit of God, a cowboy CAN stand strong.
If you are reading this, please know that I am hungry to read your thoughts on the matter. Where have all the cowboys gone?