Danny Akin recently has offered his reflections on the life and ministry of Adrian Rogers. In sharing various lessons he learned from Dr. Rogers, Akin gave a wonderful picture of Rogers’ care and compassion for those he ministered to.
Dr. Rogers taught me how to treat others. Dr. Rogers always made time for others. It did not matter who they were. The last time he was at SEBTS impressed this truth on me in a manner that has left an imprint on my life.
Following his message in chapel, people lined up by the dozens to speak to him. I knew this would happen. This started at about 11:00am. At 11:45am the line was still long. I went to Joyce to gain her assistance in graciously pulling him away. I should have listened more carefully when she said, “If you want to get him then go ahead. I am staying here!” Not listening, I walked up and touch his arm and attempted to begin nudging him away. I will never forget what he said. Gently but firmly, he quietly said, “Little Danny, when I am ready to leave I will let you know.” In the voice of a squeaky mouse I responded and said, “OK,” then scurried back to a pew and sat there like a little boy who had just got his knuckles rapped with a ruler!
At 12:15pm I walked back up as the last person in line approached. It was a small grey-headed lady probably somewhere in her 80’s. She approached Dr. Rogers and said, “I have heard you preach for years but I never thought I would get to meet you. I just want to touch your cheek.” She, with a shaking elderly hand reached up and placed that wrinkled hand on the cheek of this great servant of Christ. He gently placed his hand over hers, bent over, and gave her a kiss on her cheek. With sweet tears running down her face she turned and walked away. As she did, Adrain looked at me and said, “Now we can go.” Words are not adequate to express the lesson he taught me that day.
I hope to always be a pastor ready and willing to wait for the very last saint in line. I praise God that, not only has He given His church men and women with this kind of compassion, but more, He Himself has that kind of compassion for all His people. To be sure, Jesus joyfully waits to serve even the very last person in line.