April 29, 2011
TIME magazine is out with another of its “100 Most Influential” lists, but as usual it never defines “influence.”
Here’s my definition: someone who is able to share information and be an example in a way that changes the lives of people for the better.
That definition perfectly fits David Wilkerson. The author of the best-selling book, “The Cross and the Switchblade,” he also founded Teen Challenge, a ministry with chapters all over the world. It has introduced thousands, perhaps millions, to Jesus Christ and transformed lives.
Wilkerson was killed Wednesday in a head-on collision in Texas. His wife, who was with him, suffered critical injuries.
Emails to Christianity Today say things like, “forever grateful” and “saved my life.” One woman wrote, “Because of his ministry, I am no longer a heroin addict but a pastor in San Angelo, Texas, reaching out to addicts and lost souls.” Now that’s real influence. May he rest in peace and receive the crown of life that his lord reserved for him.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.