Lately all the buzz is about the marriage of plain ole Kate Middleton to Prince William tomorrow. Their Cinderella love story has captured the world's attention. Tomorrow morning at 6am EST, all eyes will be glued to the t.v. as Kate Middleton enters Westminster Abbey a commoner and emerges a Princess.
As fascinating as all of this may sound, something of much greater importance happened on April 27th, but most of the world is not aware nor does it care. A royal event took place as a 79 year old man entered the day a common preacher of the gospel and ended it a royal citizen of heaven. Like Kate Middleton, this man is known around the world by people of every age, color and occupation. Unlike Kate though, he has earned the respect and honor of those people by dedicating his life to seeing souls saved and boy, have they been saved.
David Wilkerson, a lowly preacher in Phillipsburg, PA, received a burden for the gangs of New York City after hearing about a trial they were involved in on the t.v. news. Phillipsburg is in the middle of nowhere and is about as metropolitan as my backyard, but this burden was so heavy on his heart he refused to consider how ridiculous it sounded for a small town holiness preacher to travel to the violent streets of NYC to share his message with the gangs. Forsaking everything else, he went and the lives of literal millions of people have been forever changed.
I can imagine that the trumpets of heaven must have blown and the bells must have rung as this faithful servant of God approached heaven's gates. I can imagine that as he entered those watching whispering "that's David Wilkerson!" And as iconic as this man was on the earth, I can imagine and know that his only concern at that moment was to see face to face the one who had saved him and set him on this path he walked so many years ago.
David Wilkerson has run his race. He has finished his course and now he will forever be a royal son of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. A lowly common man has become a Prince of heaven.
Only heaven will tell of the number of people this man's life affected. I know it touched mine. The church he left in Phillipsburg moved across the mountain to the town where I live and I was saved there. Even in his absence, his legacy affected me and my husband. We did later have the opportunity to meet this man personally several times. He was a regular guest at the ministry where I worked and he would sometimes preach at local ministers conferences and meetings for students. What a humble servant and genuinely nice man he was. And what power when he preached!!
So it's really hard for me to care if Kate Middleton is wearing a tiara or flowers in her hair. I don't give two hoots what her wedding dress looks like. It does not impress me at all that heads of state and royalty from other countries will be at her wedding. You see, something much more majestic is happening in heaven. Brother Wilkerson is wearing the crown of the redeemed. He is dressed in a robe of Christ's righteousness. He is sitting in the presence of the Lord God Almighty. All of heaven is rejoicing! A saint has come home! Kate Middleton can't hold a candle to him. I wish her and William the best, but most of all I wish them an encounter with the God that captivated the heart of David Wilkerson and caused him to undertake truly compassionate endeavors that will continue to yield fruit even now that he's gone.
I think of him in heaven and I smile. I think of the hole he left on the earth and I cry. I think of the void in the Spirit that his passing has created and I fear. May God call more common men and women to step into his shoes!
To read more about this amazing man go to http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/about_david_wilkerson/dw_fullbio