D. A. Carson is going to be in town this weekend. He is a brilliant man who has written a bunch of very helpful academic things, but my favorite Don Carson book is a book about his father, who was a missionary pastor. In that book he tells an interesting story about some wise advice his mother gave him. Charlotte Mason would have called this book a living book. I mined out a little jewel of advice for you. After you make your way through Carson’s first Pauline-length sentence you will reach his mother’s pithy advice for those inevitable times when you feel unloved. It’s Mother’s Day week, so I thought it would be a good time to pass this along to you:
When I was in my mid-teens and going through a phase when I wanted to pull away from meetings both local and regional because (I pouted) those who attended didn’t have my interests, and they all care about themselves, and much more of the same, my mother, sitting quietly at her treadle sewing machine (for years she made most of our clothes), quietly quoted two or three proverbs, and then added, “He who would have friends must show himself friendly. At the next meeting, before you go into a sulk, look around for the loneliest person in the room, and go and find out everything you can about that person. Then find the next loneliest person, and do it again.” Inevitably I resented the advice, but I took her up on it and to my amazement was soon regarded as one of the region’s youth leaders.
-D. A. Carson, from Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor
C. J. Mahaney has some good things to say about the book, too.