A Gentle Man

He was born in Lancaster, PA, to a German Reformed and Mennonite family. He grew up peacefully, in a peaceful family, in a peace loving community. As the youngest (by quite a few years) of 4 children, he must have grown up listening.

And so, I imagine, he kept listening. I think the term these days is “active listening,” but I think he defined it before anyone coined it. He listened to the mentally challenged man that he visited regularly. He listened to the mentally ill man that he met with time after time, for what ended up being decades. He friended the friendless. He listened to strangers while serving the local mental health hotline. He listened to his 2 sons, and turned them into listeners. One of them was gifted to me to be my husband.

He prayed for them all. Considered their needs, and how he might serve them. He never told me this. He’s not one who ever would. If I had asked him point-blank, he would hesitate before admitting humbly that he did. I never asked him, I wouldn’t want to embarrass him.

As a young man, he traveled to Penn State, where he played soccer, eventually to earn an EdD in (career) Counseling. He spent his career listening to young men and women, leading them in the ways that he thought would be best.

<><>And he listened to his Lord. Of this, I am sure.

We all look forward to being with you again, when we meet up yonder. Happy Father’s Day, Dad, you, who were always seeking to be like your Father. We miss you.


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