Beyond politics, the world outside the Church sometimes seems incapable of appreciating faith, grace and a life changed by Christ--probably because the admission of this reality would challenge assumptions of a godless existence in which man is master.
Michael Gerson writes a fitting tribute, excerpted below, to a changed man who exchanged hubris for humility:
Charles W. Colson — who spent seven months in prison for Watergate-era offenses and became one of the most influential social reformers of the 20th century — was the most thoroughly converted person I’ve ever known.Read full commentary
Following Chuck’s recent death, the news media — with short attention spans but long memories — have focused on the Watergate portion of his career. They preserve the image of a public figure at the moment when the public glare was harshest — a picture taken when the flash bulbs popped in 1974.
...Chuck’s swift journey from the White House to a penitentiary ended a life of accomplishment — only to begin a life of significance. The two are not always the same. The destruction of Chuck’s career freed up his skills for a calling he would not have chosen, providing fulfillment beyond his ambitions. I often heard him quote Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and mean it: “Bless you, prison, for having been in my life.”
...It is a strange feeling to lose a mentor — a sensation of being old and small and exposed outside his shade. Chuck’s irrational confidence in my 21-year-old self felt a little like grace itself. The scale of his life — a broad arc from politics to prison to humanitarian achievement — is also the scale of his absence. But no one was better prepared for death. No one more confident in the resurrection — having experienced it once already. So my grief at Chuck’s passing comes tempered — because he was Lazarus, and he lives.