tom's eyes

        I forget a lot of conversations, even the ones I had just a few days ago.  But I remember a conversation I had thirty-five years ago.  I remember it like it was yesterday.

        I was sitting in the cafeteria at work.  It was summer.  I’d been wondering a lot that summer about God -- whether He existed, and, if He did, what that meant for me.  I worked with a guy named Tom, and I knew what side he was on.  So that day in the cafeteria, after everyone else had left the table, I said, “Tom, I’m wondering about Christianity.  What can I read?”  He looked me right in the eye and said, “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.”  “I already read them,” I said.  And that’s when it happened.  His eyes filled with tears.  This quiet, strong man’s eyes filled with tears.  And he said, “Read them again.”  That’s all.  No trying to persuade me.  Nothing.  Just those eyes.

“A guy I know named Alan went around the country asking ministry leaders questions.  He went to successful churches and asked the pastors what they were doing, why what they were doing was working.  It sounded very boring except for one visit he made to a man named Bill Bright, the president of a big ministry.  Alan said he was a big man, full of life, who listened without shifting his eyes.  Alan asked a few questions.  I don’t know what they were, but as a final question he asked Dr. Bright what Jesus meant to him.  Alan said Dr. Bright could not answer the question.  He said Dr. Bright just started to cry.  He sat there in his big chair behind his big desk and wept.”                               

Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller