Wisdom Has Vision in Dark Times
by Darryl Owens
Many years ago I needed to get with Wyndham. I did not know I needed it, but he did so he asked me to meet him at a popular coffee and sandwich restaurant . I had recently come out of the full time ministry in Boston. I had also loudly and defiantly expressed my dissatisfaction with and toward the eldership of the Boston Church. So, yeah, we needed to get together.
We arrived around 10AM. We stayed through the lunch rush and were headed toward dinner. Wyndham mostly listened to me as I aired my grievances. With great patience he helped, encouraged, and rebuked as needed.
Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.
Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (1 Thess. 5:12-15)
The rebuke appropriately stung as he reminded me of the biblical responsibility of the elders. He helped me see that they were men who had to make decisions for the good of the church. At one point he leaned in and told me that I was spiritually out of line in my rebellion, criticism, and disrespect.
I tried not to let it show, but I was a mess. I am sure Wyndham saw that my fight against leadership had become more important to me than my walk with God. And there I was with the one and only Wyndham Shaw, a man whose reputation for righteousness was well established. It was a bit intimidating and unnerving.
We stayed in that restaurant for so long that a manager came to our booth and told us we needed to buy more food or leave. As we were complying with the manager’s direction Wyndham said to me, “One day when you are appointed an elder you will know exactly what I am talking about.”
I laughed to myself and thought that he had no idea what he was talking about. My faith was at an all time low. I had quit almost all forms of spiritual leadership and was just barely holding on. But this guy had vision for me. That was Fall 2007. On October 19, 2016, I was appointed an elder in the Boston Church. May God grant me even one-tenth the impact, vision, and patience of my dear brother Wyndham Shaw.
Darryl, and his wife Barbara are mega-inspiring as they give and serve in the church and the community. Darryl, seeing a need for greater trust between police and youth began the Boston Police Teen Academy, which has become a prototype for change.
Barbara, who teaches in an inner city school helped begin the Saturday Academy in Boston, which helps at risk youth find numerous avenues of support.