As I showed Wyndham the first couple of posts in this series, he was eager to make sure his weaknesses were shared. He was quick to point out that any wisdom God has given him was also learned through difficulties and mistakes. So, there you have another piece of wisdom from Wyndham:
Share your weaknesses. Be vulnerable. Be humble. He has more to share on this subject (for a later time), but his thoughts appropriately introduce a post from our dear friend Gordon Ferguson, who taught us much on this subject. Yesterday Gordon sent me six extremely meaningful articles–all sharing wisdom from Wyndham. I was moved to tears. Thank you, Gordon. I’ll start with this one:
THE WISDOM OF HUMILITY
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. (James 3:13)
Nothing found in human beings is more attractive than humility. James put it well in the above verse. Wisdom will always be diluted by a lack of humility and enhanced by its presence. My good friend, Wyndham, has an abundance of both qualities. I could mention many ways in which his humility has been demonstrated, but the acid test of humility is always going to be found in how one receives critiques.
I’ve used in at least one of my books the example of a talk I had with Wyndham when I was yet very new in Boston. He was my new discipler, and I was the new kid on the block, so to speak, but I felt like one of his concepts about discipling was not on target. We had quite a talk as we walked around a lake, and at some point he agreed with what I was saying. Then, the very next morning in a leaders’ meeting at his house he took my idea to another level. His example almost took my breath away as I thought about now following that example. Humility shown? Yes indeed – in abundance!
I’ve many other similar stories that illustrate his humility, but I’ll cut to the chase and give you my favorite two. Wyndham and I share a similar emotional nature; we are both very emotionally based. When my emotions get “hooked,” I struggle with working out of it. Wyndham has a way of doing it that few are willing or able to imitate.
In leaders’ meetings involving elders, Wyndham is almost always very even tempered. He can handle a lot coming his way without letting his emotions take control. Very occasionally, he would get hooked emotionally and keep pressing a point that wasn’t quite on target. Sometimes he would work it through in the meetings. On the rare occasions that he didn’t, he would talk to me after the meeting and ask, “Bro, what just went on in there?” In very clear terms, I would tell him that his emotions got hooked and he kept pressing a point that wasn’t going to carry the day. He would then ask what my thoughts were about the discussion topic, followed by a short period of silently processing what I had said. Then he would say, “Okay, I’ve got it. Thanks.”
Now stop and think about that one for a minute. He could process something in short order that was opposite of what he just prior been arguing strongly for. I have seen a few with enough humility to do that so quickly, but very few. I’m probably not one of the few, but watching Wyndham made me determined to work hard to imitate his heart.
Just for fun here, I will also mention an elders’ meeting, with wives present, that Wyndham was leading. He was making his point on some subject, and Jeanie was the main one who spoke up in disagreement. They went back and forth for a good while, with Jeanie being very respectful in spirit but very persistent in sticking with her viewpoint. Finally, in utter exasperation, Wyndham turned to me and said, “Bro, what do I do here?” I replied (with a twinkle in my eye), “I don’t know, Wyndham, because I agree with her!” With that, the room erupted in laughter, and Wyndham handled it with great humility and a nice dose of good humor as well. As I said, one of my great memories of a great man of humility! Thank you, my Brother!
I could fill a daily blog for years with wisdom I have learned from Wyndham. However, I’ll stick with one day a week. Each Wednesday I will share wisdom gleaned, not just from me, but from our family who saw him day and night and from friends near and far whose lives he has touched.
Many of you have already told me you wish to share wisdom you learned from Wyndham. If you wish to contribute to this collection please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line—Wednesday Wisdom. If you wish to receive these blogs in your inbox, feel free to sign up to follow the blog.
I’ll look forward to meeting you here on Wednesdays. And if you would, please remember us in your prayers. It’s a privilege to have you in our lives.