Tom Allan

"... this Jesus, whom you crucified..." Acts 2.36


One doesn't always have to look far to find inspirational figures. Tom Allan is a familiar name to many in the Church of Scotland. Famous for his part in the 'Tell Scotland' evangelistic campaign of the 1950s and for his ministry, which he described in 'The Face of My Parish', Tom's personal story may be as significant as his work, certainly it underlies and explains it.


Of Ayrshire stock, industrious and gifted, Tom suffered a spiritual and mental breakdown during World War 2. But according to his close associate, Bill Shannon, an experience towards the end of the war changed his life and restored his health. It happened in the city of Rheims on Easter morning 1945, when he heard an American serviceman sing 'Were you there when they crucified my Lord?' In that moment Tom understood the universal and eternal significance of the cross: Jesus died because and for us all. Yet he also heard afresh and personally Jesus' words from the cross: "Father, forgive them..."


Not everybody can point to such a "light-bulb" moment but we all have a story. We are what and where we are because of that story. You might find yourself at an unsatisfactory point in your story, like Tom before his Easter experience. Or maybe you are in the same euphoric zone as he enjoyed immediately after? Only you know but what I can reassure you is that God is right where you are. If you can cling to that, then you will know that everything will come together for good...

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