Editor’s note: Thank you for all the prayers for Disciples Today’s president and founder, Roger Lamb, and his family, as they mourn the passing of their daughter Christie (September 24, 1971 – November 10, 2018). Christie was a faithful disciple and lived a life that impacted many. Below is a tribute to her written by Chris Zillman, an evangelist in the Chicago Church of Christ. Christie and Chris met at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst campus ministry.
Twenty-three years ago I met for the first time someone who claimed themselves to be a disciple of Jesus. I was, back then, in no frame of mind to take that claim seriously or to really comprehend its meaning. She was just someone my girlfriend introduced to me. Her name was Christie Lamb and she was much too bubbly, outgoing, and self-assured for my liking. Her incessant kindness to me despite my outward disdain and cynicism struck me as odd.
Now, I owe her my life.
Christie ended up convincing my girlfriend to study the Bible and become a Christian. So when my girlfriend called me to explain all the new changes to our romantic engagement and the new standards of “purity” we were both going to follow I knew who to blame. And when I ended up studying the Bible and found out all the other changes to my life I was going to have to adopt, I knew who to blame. When I was challenged by my pride, when I was shown the brutality of my sin and when I saw what seemed to me the impossible choices I had to make, I knew who to blame. Christie Lamb had destroyed my life.
Yet, I did make an unlikely decision. I threw away all that I had known in order to risk that what promises were being held out to me in the Gospels might in fact be fact. And I became a disciple. It was, at first, the most uncomfortable life I could have imagined. My girlfriend seemed to glide through discipleship with ease and joy. Christie mentored and taught her how to walk The Way. Meanwhile, I stumbled through this new life struggling to keep up. And Christie became for me the older sister I never had. She never let me linger too far behind. This woman who had been only weeks before an enemy to me became a nurse and healer to all the wounds I earned from this new life because it took me some time to adjust to being a member of a fellowship and a subject of a kingdom. But she believed I would not only adjust but that one day I would thrive.
Eventually, I married my girlfriend. We now have five children of our own, two of whom are disciples themselves. I have had adventure, joy, heartbreak, glory, friendship, and family all along the way. To sit with all my best friends and tell the stories that decades of following Jesus give to a person reminds me each time how full and rich and meaningful this life is.
I blame Christie for this. Today, when I found out Christie had passed away I was in the midst of a meeting that was planning the future of our churches and fellowships spanning across Europe. We all paused to pray for the Lamb family. And standing next to me was my best friend and college roommate and we wept for this woman that had meant so much to us. We will never see her likes again, I think.
I wish I could have said goodbye one last time and to have properly thanked her for destroying my long-ago life. I don’t know that she was really made to live long in such a broken world. But I do believe she was made, at least a little bit, for us. And I thank God for the grace of crossing our paths.
We all love you, big sister.