In 7 Men and the Secret of their Greatness by Eric Metaxas, Metaxas shares an anecdote of how he first met and began working with Charles Colson; formerly President Richard Nixon’s “Hatchet man” turned Christian leader and founder of Prison Fellowship. (You can hear Metaxas on Colson’s radio broadcast BreakPoint):
After I came to faith in 1988, I heard Chuck Colson’s name again, this time identifying him as the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries. Not long afterward, a friend turned me on to his books.
Those books! Reading them was a revelation. First, I read his autobiography, Born Again, and then I read Loving God and Kingdoms in Conflict. They were a tremendous education for someone hungry to learn about his new faith.
A few years later I heard that Chuck was speaking at Yale Law School in New Haven, and I practically raced there to hear him. I even wrote a long letter to him, introducing myself and gushing about how much his work had meant to me, and I placed it inside a children’s book I had written (Uncle Mugsy and the Terrible Twins of Christmas), which I inscribed to his grandchildren. When he came off stage, I shook his hand and handed him the book and letter. Not much more than a week later, I got a letter in return. I was staggered. The letter said something about how much my letter meant to him, and it added that he would keep it in his files, that perhaps we might work together someday. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes, but I chalked it up as probably a well-meaning but unrealistic sentiment.
Of course, I didn’t know Chuck Colson very well at that point, but about a year later I got a phone call from his office. The caller said they were in need of a writer and editor for BreakPoint, the daily radio commentary that Chuck had been doing for a few years. Was I interested in applying for the job? I was amazed that Chuck, who probably wrote thousands of letters each year, remembered our correspondence. But I applied and got the job, and suddenly I was working with my hero, Chuck Colson. Working for Chuck was deeply gratifying, but it was tough too; he may have been a redeemed marine, but he was still a marine. After two years I was exhausted enough to decide to take a different kind of job, working for VeggieTales. Bob the Tomato was a much less demanding boss and had never been in the marines. (p164-165 of 7 Men)