Wisdom Touches Lives
By Dave Malutinok
Wyndham is my mentor, spiritual father, brother, and friend. Wyndham, and his wisdom, has forever touched my life. As I was flying across the Pacific on my way to Cambodia I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to share my gratitude, gratefulness, and sincere thanks for the blessing he has been in my life.
My thoughts went back to 1978. I was a one-year-old Christian at the Carolina Evangelism seminar. This was the first time I saw him in person. He and Jeanie were larger than life to me. I had listened to Wyndham on cassette tapes and was so eager to meet him. I listened to many tapes of very good speakers, but there was something about him that immediately drew me in. I remember thinking of ways I might be able to afford to transfer from West Virginia State University to North Carolina State, where he served as campus minister. When I returned to West Virginia I discussed with some brothers how amazing it would be to have the Shaws at WVU. I remember praying a ton about it and sending Wyndham two or three letters, asking him to come to help us and lead the church. God answered my prayers, and he moved to West Virginia. I know this experience brought them many painful situations, but during this time he became my spiritual father. There were times when I felt like I wanted to give up trying to be a Christian, but then I would honestly think of Wyndham—his heart for God. His love for people exhibited his love for God, and even knowing how much he loved me kept me going.
Peggy and I had planned to move to Charlotte, as Wyndham and Jeanie had moved there, and our dream was to be with them again. Before we moved there the Shaws moved to Boston. Even though I had a killer job offer in New York, the dream of being with the Shaws overshadowed any professional benefit I might enjoy. Moving to Boston, without a job, and with Peggy six months pregnant with Scott, was one of the best decisions of our lives.
I remember when we stayed with them for a while in their basement. I laugh as I remember our son John telling Jeanie, “You have nice flush toilets!” (We have kept that as a joke whenever we visit, even though we did have “flush toilets” in West Virginia.) They set us up to be discipled by a couple that has become one of our closest friends, the Fergusons.
They helped us to go into the ministry. During times when there were situations that I had no idea how to solve, Wyndham was there for me. The amazing thing is that throughout my entire Christian life, he has always been there for me. Wyndham was the first male in my life that did not abandon me. I always knew that if I needed him, he would be there. I remember feeling terror, pain, fear, anger, faithlessness, and many other emotions at Shepherd Hospital shortly after Scott’s life-altering accident. Wyndham and Chip flew down to visit. That was the first time since his accident that I felt a level of peace. Because Wyndham, my earthly adopted father, was there for me I could remember how much more my Heavenly Father will always be with me. I committed that I would always keep him in my world.
I also rather un-fondly remember the nights in the Billerica office building. Oh my goodness, what a time. The difficult decisions that needed to be made for the church were so crucial, yet he never lost his calm. Instead of severing into many separate churches, God used Wyndham and Gordon to hold things together in the Boston church.
Dear friend, I am so sorry for what you are going through. I have earned that sometimes it is impossible to fully understand God. It is futile to ask “why.” I have also learned that what God expects of us is faith. Faith that He is with us, He understands our plight, He has felt physically what we feel, He has felt emotionally what we feel, and yet He has overcome through our Lord Jesus—and paved the way along with the Holy Spirit to faithfully accept our sufferings with joy, thanksgiving, and peace.
For a while after Scott’s accident, I couldn’t find peace. For years I struggled, prayed, talked, screamed outwardly and inwardly, but have through it all found peace. Brother, I pray for you to have peace through faith that passes all understanding. I pray for you to daily remember me and the impact you made in my life. You have impacted my life like none other, save Jesus. I pray that God will also daily enlighten you to remember the thousands like me that you have impacted. I really mean thousands.
Jeanie, your support of Wyndham, and your love for him through your actions are worth more than a million words. You are setting an earthly example of the loyalty and love that was written about regarding Ruth and Naomi.
Dear brother and friend, whom I love and respect with all my heart; have peace because He has overcome the world.
John 16:33. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.