Gleanings: Our “Cheering Section”

I had the privilege of knowing Dr. Tom Carruth.  I met him when I became a student at Asbury Theological Seminary in 1970.  He served as Professor of Prayer and Spiritual Life.  I was so drawn to him that I took a number of his courses.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would succeed him as the Professor of Prayer and Spiritual Life in 1980.  But God led to that end.  He and I overlapped for two years, and then he retired.  After that, it was not unusual for him to call me once or twice a week, just to see how things were going.  He ended almost every conversation with these words….

“Don’t forget, brother Steve, I’m in your cheering section.”

That was many years ago, but there are still some days when I hear the phone ring, and I think of “Dr. Tom,” and I wish I could hear him say that one more time.  From the great cloud of witnesses, I’m sure he still does.

We need people in our “cheering section.”  We need to be in other peoples’ “cheering section.”  Perhaps there is someone today to whom you need to say, “Don’t forget….I’m in your cheering section.”

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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2 Responses to Gleanings: Our “Cheering Section”

  1. Linda Carruth Davis says:

    I cannot tell you how much it means to me to receive this message on this very day. Thank you so so much…it is a gift of priceless worth to me. Since Daddy moved to heaven I have often sensed his presence…whenever I smell leather, mentholatum and peppermint…it’s Daddy, as that is what his briefcase smelled like! He did love you so much and he gave himself fully to his unique ministry among the students.
    I wish for you and Jeannie the warmest Christmas full of all the people and things you love. I’m calling all my boys today to give them Daddy’s “message”.
    peace and grace,

  2. Larry Teasley says:

    One of my fondest memories of Dr. Tom took place in the last semester of my senior year, just weeks before graduation. He pulled me aside in the hallway and “told” me to be in the dining room at a certain time. I showed up, as ordered. A table by the window was reserved for us. As we shared lunch, he asked me what one thing I needed in prayer. I told him wisdom and understanding of Scripture. We ended lunch with his prayer for that very thing in my ministry. Then he said to me, and I can remember this like it was yesterday, not 23 years ago, “Promise me you’ll pray 15 minutes a day for this. And if you ever find you can’t pray anymore, I’ll be praying for you.” That day was, and still is, priceless to me.

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