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Friday, March 19, 2010

Never Underestimate God

Yesterday, I shared the amazing story of Alexander Cruden, the troubled man who wrote CRUDEN’S COMPLETE CONCORDANCE. He was, at best, an eccentric man, at worst, a man who battled insanity.

Cruden overestimated his abilities, to the point of irrationality. He lobbied for the job of French reader to Lord Derby. He was offended to be fired after completing his first day on the job. The reason he was fired? He could not pronounce French.

Cruden became convinced that the British powers-that-be should knight him. He began a campaign to all influential people he could find, badgering them to secure his rightful place in the knighthood.

One year, two weeks before Parliamentary elections, Cruden impulsively decided it would be thrilling to be a Member of Parliament. He did everything he could to get himself on the ballot. He failed to even find one person to nominate or second his nomination.

As Timothy Larsen has written, “Cruden's human weakness and divine gift was an inability to calculate probabilities.” Consequently, he could not discern he had no business serving as French reader, or running for Parliament.

By the same token, Cruden did not understand, as normal people did, that he could not help a prostitute or prisoner. Instead, he hired a prostitute who had approached him and changed her life, and, because of his work, a prisoner who was sentenced to die had his sentenced reduced to deportation. Thanks to the fanatical work of Cruden.

Finally, Alexander Cruden could not comprehend that one man could not possibly sit down at night and, over a period of years, methodically produce a work so valuable that it is still used almost three centuries later.

We must never dismiss how God can use people, even “the least of these.”

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