I don’t remember the day I met Michael Tyler. I would know that whenever that our first handshake occurred that I never considered the impact he would make on my life.
In the early years that I knew Michael (2002?), my parents and Michael and his wife Helen were inseparable. My dad, who has been in pastoral ministry for most of my life, had established a wonderful friendship with Michael. Pastoral leadership can be a lonely calling and the number of friends you have in life that speak truth into your life and seek to encourage and shepherd you are rare, but Michael was that kind of friend to my Dad (and still is) when I first started getting to know him.
He became that kind of friend to me.
Somewhere during the 1st few years of knowing Michael, he and I started having breakfast on a regular basis. There was no formal question posed by me – “Michael, will you disciple me.” And there was no formal question asked by him, “Charles, can I disciple you.” Yet, that is what started. Michael began discipling me through the natural means of a developing friendship.
Over the years of meeting him for ham steaks and omelets, Michael has poured his life into mine. He has become a type of Paul in my life and I have often felt like one of his Timothy’s or Titus’s.
His humility is striking. Rarely wanting to talk about himself, Michael shifts conversation often to my burdens, my struggles, my life, etc.
His questions are legendary. I cannot remember a meeting with him ever where he did not pose a question I couldn’t immediately answer. He asks questions that are thought-provoking and need a timed respond.
His love for me is a rich blessing. He is one of the most encouraging men I have even known. He goes out of his way to express thanksgiving for our friendship and often tells me what he is appreciate for in my life and ministry, which always feels awkward (as if Timothy can teach Paul right?).
I pray that everyone who knows the Lord Jesus Christ has a Michael-type character in their life. We all need someone who is used of God for our good, who helps us move forward in the process of sanctification, who asks the hard but needed questions, and who wants us to not be passive in our walk with the Lord.
I am thankful for this man who made it through a quadruple bypass surgery just last week. I am thankful there will be more breakfast meetings to come.
And whenever God takes both of us home to be with Him, I cannot wait to have endless conversations about the glory of God with my friend Michael Tyler.