This is part three of a series about Ruth and her late husband, Loren. As I wrote in part one, Loren had been my grandparent’s insurance agent some forty-five years ago. They respected Loren so much they convinced my mother to name me after him. But my namesake sure set the bar awfully high for me. I never fought in a war (WWII); I never drove a yellow convertible; I never had a pilot’s license; I never flew my plane over my girlfriend’s house and tipped my wings at her and I never flew her to Cincinnati to buy her wedding suit.
Ruth set the bar pretty high too, as evidenced in the following email I received from Ruth and Loren’s son, Bruce. Here’s Bruce: “I was with mom when she had been admitted to Southern Ohio Medical Center and a grown man, probably ten years younger than me, came into the room and introduced himself. At that point I recognized him and we chatted briefly; but then he got right to the point. He said he had heard mom was in the hospital and wanted to drop in and share something with her. Growing up, his family was very active in the church, but he said there was always something that seemed missing in their dynamic, that week in and week out, he saw in Mom and Dad and our family as a whole. He told my Mom, that many years ago as a young man, he made a promise to himself that when he became an adult and had a family of his own that he would be the same father and would have the same family life as did my parents. He really made my Mom and myself feel very special in a hospital room, not the best circumstance. What struck me most was at this stage in his life he took the time to share those thoughts again with her. That act of kindness makes a statement about the person that he is also.”
Oswald Chambers wrote, “Never make the mistake of using your life as a template for someone else’s. Allow God to work in the lives of others with the same individuality and creativity as He has in yours,” for “You can never give another person that which you have found; but you can make him homesick for what you have,” ( (My Utmost for His Highest, paraphrased). Ruth and Loren lived their lives in such a way that the young man, “week in and week out”, became homesick for what they had.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews exhorts us to “…imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises,” (Hebrews 6:12). Whether or not that young man was aware of the writer of the book of Hebrews advice, he followed it; and we would be wise to do the same.
A few years ago, Carol, my former fellow hospice social worker and “little sister” in Christ Jesus, was in town and stopped by the office for a short visit. She shared that she had been challenged by a question presented in a sermon she’d heard. She stated that she just couldn’t get it off her mind. Now I’m passing it on to you, “When was the last time someone thanked God for you?”
Loren Hardin is a social worker with SOMC-Hospice and can be reached at 740-357-6091 or at [email protected] You can order Loren’s book, “Straight Paths: Insights for living from those who have finished the course”, at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.