F is for Friend.
I love this verse, it is something that we need to remember, where is our treasure being stored. This verse came to my heart last night, You see we had a dear friend who went to be with the Lord yesterday, Feb. 24, 2011. He was a friend who I can say I was honored to have known. We meet him around 1993 when we lived in Denver. He was a faithful man who came to our church in Denver.
He was a unique individual. One that loved the Lord with all his heart, soul, and might. The most important thing was that it showed in everything he did. I can honestly say that I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. He wasn't one to slander any ones character. Even when they treated him badly. He was faithful to pray for anyone at the drop of a bucket. He was always helping those in need. He would give you the shirt off his back and I seen him give his coat to someone in need before. He was one who always invited people enthusiastically to church to share the love of our Lord. He was always handing out tracks to share the gospel. Always making sure the hungry got feed. He could quote scripture with out a blink of an eye. He was faithful in giving of his resources. Everyone in our church loved and respected this man.
His name was Howard. Let me tell you why I mentioned Howard.
You see he was illiterate, but he always took time to listen to the Bible on tape and was a sponge when it came to the things concerning God. He couldn't read or write. He could write just enough to sign his name.
He had a speech impediment. He was very hard to understand and it took time and patience to understand him. It didn't stop him from sharing the Good News of our Lord and Savior dying on the tree. He was in much pain due to medical conditions. Yet, he walked for miles to come to church when he didn't have money for a bus. Howard was there every time the doors where opened. He was the most faithful person I have ever known.
He was nothing lovely to look at-his hygiene was poor and he often wore a heavy coat even on the hottest of days. He smelled often. He was not financially well off, he was a senior citizen living on SSI. He had lived under a bridge at one point in his life. Most people assumed he was still a homeless man.
He was the first to give when there was a need. "As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in her two mites. "Truly I tell you," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." (Luke 21:1-4)" Even when we moved he mailed a dollar bill every birthday to my kids. That dollar was a lot to him and I know every dollar he truly needed to live on. He knew God would take care of all his needs. God did take care of his needs. He had an apartment, food, and clothing. Nothing fancy in his needs. I think most people would complain living on his meager means. Howard had so much joy and rejoice when he found something that he went dumpster diving for. They were truly a treasure to him.
All the kids loved him. Howard was a old cowboy movie and a Disney fan. He had hundreds of movies in his small apartment. He gave all the kids tapes of the movies, it was something he was good at. It brought smiles to their faces. My husband and I called it a Howard production the recording where not always watchable. No one every complained not even the kids. It gave him great joy to bless the kids with these tapes. We still have several of them sitting in my cabinet from the foster kids he blessed that lived in our home. I keep them as a reminder of what a Godly person should be like.
We even had a dog who accepted him the first time he entered into our home. She was a large Rottweiler, German Shepard mix. It always took her 3 or 4 times to warm up to a person. You could not approach her she, would approach you when she was comfortable with you. She would just intimidate everyone with a look and stare you down. Howard, the first time he came into our home she wagged her tail and went straight to him. At that time I was unsure of Howard. I knew that day that he was a truly unique individual and someone who could be trusted.
If we could all have just an ounce of Howard's love for others. The love to show the love of God in all that we do. People treated him so bad. It made me angry but, he just would smile and his eyes would tell you it is okay. He showed those mean individuals unconditional love.
He will be missed, I have one regret- I wish my kids could have really known him. He taught me that the outside appearance doesn't matter. Not to be uncomfortable around those who don't look like me, dress like me, and even smell like me! Howard loved unconditionally. His reward in Heaven will be great. I expect him to have many crowns. After, I see my Lord and Savior face to face, Howard is the next person I want to thank for helping me look for treasures in all individuals.
Farewell my friend, what a privilege Jeff and I had that you considered us your friends. This world has been a better place by all the lives you have impacted. Shalom my friend Howard.
Other bloggers have joined in Blogging through the Alphabet. Annette and Amanda are hosting this on their blogs. Stop by and see what they are blogging about with the letter F. #abcblogging