August 22, 2012
Calvin Miller's Legacy
A friend of the late writer pays tribute.
A copy of Apples, Snakes and Bellyaches was given to me in 1991 while serving as a student missionary in Oregon. I stayed up half the night reading and laughing aloud at thought-provoking poems addressed to children, yet instructive to adults.
This was my first exposure to the writings of Calvin Miller. It would not be my last.
The next year at university, I came across the book The Table of Inwardness. I did not immediately connect the author of this book to the same man who wrote Apples, Snakes and Bellyaches. And why should I? Children’s poetry and Christian mysticism are completely different genres. To this day, Table remains my favorite book. I read it once a year.
Entering Southwestern Seminary, I made it a priority to meet Calvin Miller and take every class he offered, whether or not they were part of my course requirements. Along the way, a friendship was born. The greatest honor Calvin bestowed upon me, besides that of being my mentor, was the opportunity to serve as his research assistant. I learned as much sitting across the desk from Calvin as I did in many of my seminary courses.
It was also a privilege to be part of a small group that met at Calvin’s house on Tuesday nights to read through his final draft of Walking with Saints. There were five students in this group, and every one of us remains in ministry. Statistically, at least two of us should be washed out by now. I believe it was Calvin’s influence that prepared each of us for the trials of ministry.
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