Wisdom is a Perfect Spiral
by Randy Jordan
The college years seem a long time ago, but some memories have never faded. There were so many things that made our campus ministry days at the Crossroads Church of Christ so very special. One of them was “Brothers Football” – an epic contest that took place each Saturday morning during the fall on a recreation field at the University of Florida. I can’t remember who won or lost, but I have never forgotten Wyndham Shaw at quarterback. I am sure his teams won more than their fair share of games, but it was the way he threw the football that has always stood out to me. He threw a perfect spiral with pinpoint accuracy. The ball seemed to always be between the numbers of the receiver, and the deep throws were uncanny in avoiding the cornerback’s efforts to block the pass. His spiral was somehow easy to catch, and his completion percentage was high. He seemed to see the playing field like few others. Wyndham was never flashy, but he was always very, very good.
I have thought many times about how to describe a lifetime of knowing Wyndham and now realize that the perfect spiral is the perfect metaphor. The Crossroads Church sent out many campus ministers during those early years and It was inspiring to hear the stories filter back from time-to-time. Wyndham (and Jeanie) were among those courageous campus ministers, and I marveled at not only the way his ministries grew in North Carolina and West Virginia, but also the caliber of those who chose to receive from Wyndham the perfect spiral of the Gospel. I am so grateful for friends like Doug Arthur, Doug Jacoby, Scott Green, Sam Powell, Gary Knutson, and Dave Malutinok who in many ways started their faith journeys in those ministries.
At one particularly vulnerable time in my faith, I felt unsettled about the changing landscape of our fellowship of churches. By that time Wyndham had made his way to the ministry staff of the growing Boston Church of Christ. I ran into Wyndham at a regional conference in Atlanta and shared with him my doubts, fears, and concerns. He once again responded with a perfect spiral that extended beyond my doubts and fears and landed in my heart (right between the numbers). I felt such relief after learning from Wyndham’s clear judgment and wise advice. I was free to make some very important decisions that forever changed the destiny of our family’s spiritual journey.
It was a great joy to be reunited with Wyndham and Jeanie in 1996 when I was asked to become General Counsel at HOPE worldwide. The Shaws, as Geographic HOPE Leaders, were part of HOPE worldwide’s leadership team at the time and we were blessed to meet regularly together. No matter my anxieties about taking on new responsibilities, Wyndham always seemed to have the right thing to say to give me encouragement and faith. Wyndham’s wisdom showed up in every one of our leadership decisions – another perfect spiral.
Wyndham’s positive influence also extended to helping me as an elder in the Philadelphia Church. Wyndham was only a call away as our eldership faced many challenging circumstances. He helped us retain the confidence that God will always work for good so long as we remain faithful to His will. It was so comforting to hear Wyndham describe how he had addressed a similar situation when we were convinced that the challenge we were experiencing was the only one like it in the world. His answers always seemed perfect for the moment. suspect Wyndham in humility would disagree, but that’s how it felt to me.
I am so thankful for Wyndham’s perfect spirals through the past five decades. Brother, I am still learning from you and will be eternally grateful. With respect and love!