It’s possible that Dawson Trotman and I have started off on the wrong foot. There’s a small chance that he feels disrespected by the photo shoots for which I made his gravesite a studio. My smiling, leaping, joyful self might have benefitted from a bit more somber demeanor or a few devotional verses as I romped up the path to the grave site of Dawson and his wife, Lila.
See, I’m not a hater. I quite respect his story as I’ve learned it thus far. Dawson Trotman (they called him “Daws”) is the founder of The Navigators. He built quite a legacy as a solid man of God with a deep heart for discipleship. He died, I think, by drowning as he was saving someone else’s life. Seems appropriate, the way this guy sounds like he was wired up.
I understand that he was tight with Billy Graham, the “Great Evangelist” that we all know so well. The fascinating thing about their friendship, their ministry partnership, is that Billy did the fishing and Daws did the follow-up. They were a perfect pair, according to their giftings. It’s kind of wonderful how God paired the two up to do His work.
I particularly dig Daws and his passions ’cause they overlap with and enrich the things I’m growing to love. I’ve never really been too head-over-heels with the evangelism side of things. Not because I don’t care about Kingdom things, but because it breaks my heart to see people get fired up for God, jump off a bridge for a relationship with Jesus Christ and then be left all alone in this big,messy world of untruth.
I wasn’t one of those kinda fish. I was cared for and networked, introduced to people, given a foundation for months and months. And even afterwards, I was deposited into communities and under solid, Biblical preaching. My brothers had huge hearts for the unlovable (of which I was one) and deep passions for discipleship (of which I was a recipient). Without their love for the King, let’s just be honest, I’d likely have been a backslider long ago. I loved my patterns from before Christ. And I thought I was good at them. Somewhere along the line, God did some backwards work on me through my brothers in Christ, and I came to love Him more than the things I gave up.
Sorry for trampling your area, Daws. I was just so thrilled to be in the beauty where you did much of your work, where you planted your feet. You can understand that, I’m sure. I was praising the only One capable of giving me the teachers that were perfect for me as long as I’ve known Him.
May my feet go to the most needy places. May those places match the loves in my heart. May I always keep the foundations given to me, and never forget to give glory where it’s due.