Bob is still on my mind. He is not well. He has not been well for some time. And he seems to be getting increasingly unwell – one thing compounding another.
A profound interest in everything, empathy so profound it embraced the world, an enormous intellect, and the ability to focus with equal intensity on macro and micro issues characterized his life. Now, nothing seems to interest him for very long. You can’t help feeling the man who once said anything worth doing is worth doing to excess has finally had enough.
In Areopagitica, John Milton wrote, “It was from the rind of one apple tasted that knowledge of good and evil as two twins cleaving together leaped forth into the world. And perhaps this is that doom that Adam fell into of knowing good and evil, that is to say, of knowing good by evil…He that can consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true ‘warfaring’ Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and ‘unbreathed’, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race…that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary.”
A warfaring Christian – that is the phrase that leaps to mind when I think about Bob Macauley. His life reminds me the knowledge of good and evil is both a burden and a blessing. Only by bearing witness to Evil can we truly know what is Good.
Bob has made a conscious choice in his life to direct his considerable energies and bend even his less-godly impulses into a godly manner. He is a renegade and a street fighter. He doesn’t mind cajoling, manipulating, begging, doing whatever it takes to get something done. He has made a conscious effort to surround himself with and reach out to godly people, to seek them out, to seek ways to be used, and to use his gifts, talents, and resources in a way that helps make things better for others.
A born entrepreneur and fearless philanthropist, Bob has operated with a sense of urgency rare to the world. In the process, he has become a man who was the measure of men.