For most of us, Chuck Colson was the former presidential tough guy born again through Watergate into a new man with goals as driving and distinct as those of William Wilberforce. In his four decades long life as a servant of Christ, Chuck pursued those goals with a passion and single-mindedness which set him apart. Through Prison Fellowship, he fought to keep the promise he made to a fellow prison inmate never to forget those behind bars, and through his twenty years broadcasting "BreakPoint" on national radio, sought to reform a culture thirsting for Truth.
But few can say they knew Chuck Colson like his daughter, Emily, who, while in high school, witnessed her father fall from power only to find salvation and a new purpose in the Gospel of Christ. Emily and Chuck have relied on one another through some of life's hardest days, and experienced a bond which Emily says made a powerful difference in her life.
Emily Colson with her son, Max
"My dad, in my most difficult times, would call me three, four times a day," says Emily. "And when he would call me, you would think he didn't have anything else going on in his life. The statement he was making was 'you are more important than anything else in my life.'"
Through Emily's divorce and the care of her autistic son, Max, Chuck stood by his daughter and supported her no matter what else demanded his attention. In particular, she says, her dad's relationship with Max made an impact on all three of their lives which will stay with her forever.
"He loved all of his grandchildren, but he had something a little extra special with Max, I think maybe because of his autism, and I think Max needed his grandfather in a bigger way than maybe some of the other grand kids did... they had an extraordinary bond. Beautiful. I think the thing that I might miss most about my dad was his relationship with Max."
Emily's message to BreakPoint listeners? Honor Chuck's life not just by praying for and carrying on the work which meant so much to him, but by imitating the life he lived away from the public eye, investing in your families as he did in his.
"I have to tell you," says Emily, "I have felt so very blessed to have had this relationship with my dad. And I hope that other fathers will make every possible effort to have that same thing with their children."
On behalf of our listeners and the entire team here at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, thank you, Emily.
Click here to read more about Chuck Colson's ongoing legacy and to find out how you can support the ministries he launched at ChuckColson.org.
Click here to get your copy of Chuck and Emily's book, "Dancing with Max."
Meet a remarkable young man. Max doesn't communicate like we do. But he communicates better than we do about the most important things. Max doesn't think like we do. But his actions reflect deep spiritual truths.
With candor and wit, Emily Colson shares about her personal battles and heartbreak when, as a suddenly single mother, she discovers her only child has autism. Emily illuminates the page with imagery--making you laugh, making you cry, inspiring you to face your own challenges. >>READ MORE
Click here to listen to Jim Liske's radio BreakPoint radio tribute to Chuck Colson, in which he draws a wealth of inspiration from the life and leadership of our founder.