No Unkind Thing

No Unkind Thing

One of the most encouraging books I’ve read recently is D.A. Carson’s book Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, a book about Carson’s father, a church planter in Quebec. Carson describes a period of crisis that took place in the 1940s involving T.T. Shields, a gifted pastor who became increasingly autocratic. Carson’s father was caught in the crossfire of the resulting controversy. He lost his salary, went into debt, and found his integrity questioned by powerful people through no fault of his own.

Tom Carson had every reason to be angry, yet his children never heard him complain. It was only twenty years later that D.A. Carson learned what happened to his father in a course on Canadian Baptist history. Tom Carson acted with such integrity in the crisis that the lecturer commented, “One of the first things I want to see when I get to heaven is Tom Carson’s crown.”

Carson asked his father why he hadn’t said anything about this crisis to his children. His father replied:

There were two reasons. First, you were children of the manse, and although you have seen the outworking of the gospel, you have also seen more than your share of difficult and ugly things, and we did not think it wise to expose you to this history when you were young. Second, Marg and I decided we needed to protect our own souls from bitterness. So we took a vow that neither of us would ever say an unkind thing about T. T. Shields. And we have kept our vow.

Carson’s sister writes:

As I look back on life with Mom and Dad, perhaps the one thing I recall most vividly is the memory that I don’t have. Try as I might, I cannot recollect one time when either of them spoke negatively about another person. Although Mom was an extremely astute judge of character, her analyses were well seasoned with grace and the latent potential for redemption.

This is incredible given the volatility of the situation. I could learn from this.

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada