I've been thinking about Dr. Falwell the last few days. I think the one thing that will keep May 12 from being a perfect day will be not seeing Doc and not hearing him speak. I know he'll be there in spirit and amongst that "Great Cloud of Witnesses" cheering from Heaven, but I wish I could thank him personally.
Dr. Falwell shaped my life at an early age and he was the reason I chose Liberty. Like so many from my generation and those who attended there before me and up until he passed. Liberty has become a brand now and it's become bigger than Doc himself. Now kids go to LU because it's a great school and a great place. They'll never know the joy of being stuffed into dorm rooms built for half the number of occupants as actually resided in them. They'll never know about dating restrictions or dress codes where jeans were verboten, or where we had a curfew at midnight. They missed the excitement of watching Dr. Falwell during a Presidential election cycle.
Back in the day, we were watching history being made and barely realized it. Doc was building something on the mountain that would become a true force. An institution to be reckoned with. A school that offered to evangelical kids what Notre Dame offered Catholics and what BYU offered Mormons.
Beyond the outer fluff, there was an unmistakable spirit at work on Liberty Mountain. Maybe it's because I was there during the years when LU was rising from a dirt pile on Candler's Mountain road. When there were four educational buildings and single story, Quonset huts for dorms and a muddy field where the DeMoss building now sits. For these and other reasons LU holds a special, sentimental spot that is inseparable from Dr. Falwell himself. He was that place and that place was him. We all knew the stories of how LU came to be. How hard he fought for that place. How large his faith was. We were little seeds of that faith, being challenged every day to do as Doc had done...grab ahold of God and let Him grab ahold of us. Dream something so big and foolish and daring that only God could make it happen...and then trust Him to do it.
We were in the presence of a giant and we were all better for it.
Everything Liberty is, has happened because one man heard distinctly from God, believed in the message God gave him, and trusted God to do the work, despite the doubts of all those around him.
A lesson God has forged in me while living in a car and trying just to be a dad.
See ya tomorrow,