Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bela Crkva, on the Rumanian frontier (local painting)
 Letter to a friend (1982)

'He is putting his 'thou' before God's 'me' '
...First, I am sure you are most curious about our days in Yugoslavia which as you expected were blessed. What will surprise you is that my time with Max was not at all what you would have expected but something much more tender. The matter of our past differences really came to nothing and I felt indeed a deeper affection with regard to him even than for David, as well as also a deeper concern. He was at almost all of the meetings at some sacrifice of travel back and forth from Belgrade to the Rumanian border where these primitive Rumanian-speaking churches were and even served as interpreter on several occasions as the messages had to be first translated into Serbo-Croatian and then into Rumanian.
On one occasion in the car in that moment which is the Lord’s timing, as you know, the Lord began to finger some of the deep foundational things of his life and I believe that he was challenged in a good way. He is bent and determined upon an academic course and probably is by now in Strasbourg working on his Ph.D. which neither I nor others applaud. He quite frankly confessed that he wants to do that which gratifies him most and hopes in the same breath that it will be pleasing to the Lord and beneficial for His Kingdom as well. As I explained to him and later spoke as a message that night upon the conversion of Paul, he is putting his ‘thou’ before God’s ‘me’—‘Why persecutest thou me?’—which is at the heart of every man’s condition until true conversion comes. I think that he is bright enough to get the point and you might pray that he will regard it and act upon it. He’s really a very dear brother with, of course, an enormous potential in God that will never be fulfilled as long as he predicates his entire life and service first on whether it gratifies him. In short, I think I would be disappointing you these days for the absence of the old type Katz-encounters.


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