“God made me for China.” Eric Liddell lived his life in answer to that calling and commission. As Duncan Hamilton explains, Liddell “considered athletics as an addendum to his life rather than his sole reason for living it.”
Eric Liddell ran for God’s glory, but he was made for China. He desperately wanted the nation he loved to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and believe. David J. Michell, director for Canada Overseas Missionary Fellowship, would introduce Liddell’s collected devotional writings, The Disciplines of the Christian Life, by stating simply that “Eric Liddell’s desire was to know God more deeply, and as a missionary, to make him known more fully.”
Christians must remember that Olympic glory will eventually fade. There will be medalists for all to celebrate. But, will there be another Eric Liddell? At the very least, his story needs to be told again. The most important part of his story came long after his gold medal arrived by mail.
OTD in 1945 the Olympic gold medal winning runner, Scotland Rugby international & missionary Eric Liddell died at a Japanese internment camp in China – probably from overwork and malnourishment – aged 43. A fellow internee called him ‘the finest Christian gentleman’ he’d ever met pic.twitter.com/dgrX8bIK1T
— Dan Jackson 🦡 (@northumbriana) February 21, 2019