How Ed’s story helped change mine

CNN has a great piece on Ed Dobson, former pastor of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids. More than a decade ago, Ed was diagnosed with ALS. Now, he’s telling his story through a series of short videos called Ed’s Story, produced by Flannel (the same company that did the NOOMA series with Rob Bell).

I’ve only met Ed Dobson once. It was to thank him for a book he published thirteen years ago. In the early 1980s, Ed was an insider with the Moral Majority, the organization founded by Jerry Falwell that made the religious right a force to be reckoned with. Years later, Ed wrote Blinded by Might with conservative columnist Cal Thomas. They argued the church’s quest for political power had been misguided, that there are better ways to effect lasting change.

Ed’s book changed the trajectory of my life post-college. It helped me to imagine a new story for myself. After college, I had an opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. and fight the “culture war,” to take up arms in the quest for political power and influence. Ed’s book showed me another way.

Now, he’s showing people everywhere another way to follow Jesus, even in the face of certain death. And he’s proving you don’t need a megachurch, a TV broadcast, or all the other trappings of success to do it.

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