I never met Eugene Peterson, but somehow I think I would have enjoyed an unhurried conversation with the author of The Message. This is not because I have a list of questions I would have wanted to ask him. It’s because this poet, pastor, professor and accomplished author struck me as a man who thought deeply about his faith and who authentically shared his love for Christ with anyone interested in talking to him about it.

Eugene’s faith was undoubtedly shaped by his mother, and the time he spent as a child listening to her sing gospel songs and share Bible stories with miners and lumberjacks in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This inspired his own passion for sharing Christ’s love with others, just as it developed in him an imagination for pastoral ministry, as he shares in his book, The Pastor.

We have lost a man who has inspired many. But his legacy will continue, as will the hope of the Gospel of Christ woven into his writings and into his life’s testimony.

From all of us at Focus on the Family Canada, we send our love and prayers to the Peterson family.