MY EVERYDAY HERO - Part 2
My everyday hero is my husband, Darryl, who has displayed strength to meet daily challenges for all 42 of our years together. This is my tribute to his heroism.
My everyday hero loves sacrificially. I have seen Darryl go way out of his way to honor a prior commitment and value people even though it cost him dearly at times. He lives by something he calls, First Commitment - Priority Commitment, meaning he will not flake out on a previous commitment even if the second opportunity is the one-of-a-kind, never-will-happen-again type. The only time he violates this code is if the original person will release him - in grace.
My everyday hero serves the person in front of him. I have seen Darryl go down on his knees to talk with children; comfort the dying with Scripture; pray for families in hospital rooms; patiently answer Bible questions into the night, if necessary; relentlessly prepare for a constant array of messages, talks, workshops, seminary classes; counsel the brokenhearted; reconcile enemies; disarm angry complainers; get totally absorbed in another's story; meticulously follow wise counsel; simply hold the door open for a family at their son's funeral; bury my father and nephew; take his sons to breakfast once a week for years; value and validate his beautiful daughters; spend quality time with his extremely beautiful, intelligent and gifted grandchildren; and protect and honor me - his wife.
My everyday hero solves problems. I have seen Darryl weighed down with concerns; angry at rudeness; disappointed over the outcomes of major decisions; completely exhausted and then, the next morning, have a fresh supply of energy and joie de vivre. I have seen him tirelessly clear his desk of piles of papers; over-communicate to keep misunderstandings to a minimum; share something he can do in the spirit of cooperation even when he can't do all that is requested; share his theological understanding on a myriad of issues to anyone who will listen; and meet his wife for lunch once a week for over 30 years to discuss scheduling and family concerns.
My everyday hero makes courageous decisions. I watched Darryl walk away from 25 years at Scottsdale Bible Church because he felt Phoenix Seminary needed him - leaving the insulation of a remarkable reputation; financial stability; and weekly influence over thousands; to build a struggling school. I watched him fall in love with the people of Grace Community Church and decide to set about bringing health to a body beaten down by problems and discouragement.
My everyday hero leads with faith. I have watched Darryl trust God for outcomes while he put one foot in front of the other and kept moving forward. I watched him believe God for godly elders; assemble a talented staff; nurturing them to be successful while he faithfully did his job week to week - all year around - year after year. I have watched him believe God for the needs of the seminary even when they seemed completely overwhelming - only to see him overcome and still be faithfully filling the requirements of his presidential role since 1997.
This is my husband, my everyday hero. He has shown up everyday for 42 years and I don't think he has any intention of slowing down anytime soon. He will be loving, serving, problem-solving, making courageous decisions and leading with faith until his last breath.
Christopher Reeve defined a hero "as an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." And then, he adds, "They are the real heroes, and so are the families and friends who have stood with them."
My next blog will pay tribute to the people who have stood with us - especially in our transition to Phoenix Seminary and the many challenges we have faced together there.