Couldn't sleep, so I came out to look up things about Wyoming. When I got too dizzy from the elevation there I went to see if there was anything new to read on my Google Reader. Cliff Morrow, a Nebraska farmer (a real farmer), had a post about tractor repairs. A girl like me can't resist talk about tractor repairs so I went to his blog to read it. (I don't like reading things straight off of Google Reader) I decided to read some of his other posts that I may have missed on my stint of Life Without Laptop. He had a post asking his reader to read an old-post of his, then to visit the fellow-blogger that the post was about. So I did. It's all good so I hope you do the same.
But if you only have a few minutes go see-this. I don't usually do sappy but please go here, it is pleasant music and the pictures are beautiful and the words, food for thought.
Now I will tell you, Dale lived a great dash. We, my family, only saw about a third of his dash first hand but what we saw we admired. We took the time to see beyond the first impressions and we liked what we saw, so we stuck around to see more and we were never disappointed.
Earlier this week I heard of a family that chose not to look beyond the first impression. They missed out. They missed out on having their son learn some good lessons. Yes, the poor dear boy may have had to suffer some rough language but the man's heart was unbeatable. But that was the hard thing, you had to be quiet and watch carefully or you would miss it. Not because it wasn't there but because Dale didn't make a big deal about it.
Dirt read some Scripture tonight at gathering that reminded him of how Dale lived his faith. Verses that talked about working and not taking but also talked of giving and giving quietly so you didn't get noticed for your giving. Dirt read out of Romans, Ephesians and Thessalonians. They were good verses, good reminders of how to be, and good reminders that Dale most certainly knew his Lord, it wasn't just something he said.
Tomorrow stories will abound about how much Dale gave. Gave of his resources, money yes, but even more than that: contacts and his talents, time and effort, equipment and real estate. Encouragement came with all of it. His giving always seemed to be dressed in encouragement. He may have been gruff, short tempered, challenging and opinionated, but once he knew that you meant what you were after he encouraged you. Even if it wasn't really his cup of tea.
The next time you engage in weighing out your life or that of another brother's, take the time to look beyond the surface, open the book a little farther, wait a little while to make sure that you see what you think you see. When we do that we may find that what appears to be all good and sweet, isn't, and what appears to be all rough and crass isn't all that either.
I'd go ahead and cut loose with a few more bad words myself, if I could live as generous a life as that of my friend.