HEARING of the death of John Stott yesterday gave me more than a mere moment of pause. I never met him or heard him in person and yet I respected the person I met through his writing. I have always been challenged by his discipline, humility and commitment. So I felt a sudden sense of loss - not the troubled disquiet I experienced over the death of Amy Winehouse at only 27, but the kind of loss you experience when someone special to you announces they are leaving, for new things elsewhere.
(A memory floats by, of reading The Cross of Christ on the train to London.)
At 90, Stott leaves a legacy of deep and faithful thinking behind him. I hope that the rest of us continue this legacy of thinking deeply about our faith, of taking the time to know God better, making time for that which is important in our lives.
And so it was that I murmured a genuine prayer of gratitude for a man I have never met.
Not yet, anyway.
Click on the picture to be taken to the memorial site