I was young in my faith – a recent college grad, serving in a homeless shelter, living in a new city, and figuring out what faith in the current culture looked like. I was deconstructing my past experiences with Christianity but wanting to hold onto faith. I was desperately searching for someone older and much wiser than I was. Enter, Tim Keller. My first introduction to him was reading his book Prodigal God and listening to his sermons online.
I was hooked!
His gentle voice was like a balm to my weary, searching soul. I had never before heard someone who could explain such complex ideas in such relatable terms. He got to the heart of scripture and what the Bible meant in such a tender way. There weren’t any theatrics or threats when he spoke, simply an invitation. It wasn’t about fame or money for him. I could hear his heart for Jesus and for people to know Him more.
Throughout those first few years post college, Keller was my most read and listened to voice. As a young adult, in a season in which I was figuring out who I was and who I wanted to become, Keller’s words gave me hope and comfort. During this time was also when Love Thy Neighborhood was launched. Alongside John Perkins, Tim Keller was our most recommended author and pastor. They way he led and taught informed countless aspects of Love Thy Neighborhood.
Today, a photo of Tim Keller hangs on the wall of my office. His curiosity about Scripture, God, and others is a daily encouragement to me to be curious as well. It is rare that a day passes that I don’t quote him or reference something he taught me. He has been the most influential person on my faith, and his legacy continues in how I live my faith out today, including my parenting, friendships, neighboring, and leadership of Love Thy Neighborhood.
I am the person I am today because of the person that Tim Keller was. I praise God for the faithful ways that Tim Keller followed Jesus and that I got to witness and experience even a small part of that journey.
Tim, thanks for following God faithfully and making God known!