My heroes are not your garden variety. I'm not impressed by actors or sports figures or great minds. All of these gifts are God-given and it's admirable that they are put to use, but their origins were not up to the recipients. My heroes are those who "run the race with endurance, fixing their eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of their faith".
Yesterday I attended the memorial service of one of my heroes, Tim Roos. I met Tim about 20 years ago. I was then working at one of our local elementary schools and Tim was a volunteer. For a long time I thought he was a district employee. He was there all day, every day, just like other employees. But I as I began to develop a friendship with him, I learned that no, he was "just a volunteer". As I learned more about his life, the story became more incredulous.
Tim has a twin brother who was born whole and complete; Tim was not. He was born with spina bifida and over the years had endured multiple surgeries, constant pain and legs that he had to drag with him everywhere. Crutches and then a wheelchair were his constant companions. Although he received monthly SSI checks, he did not just sit back and collect his money and feel sorry for himself; he chose to give back to his community by volunteering at multiple locations over the years. This is and of itself was remarkable, but that's just the beginning of the story.
Tim lived his whole life with a glass that was not only full, it was running over....on everyone he came in contact with. His irrepressible spirit was infectious and complaint and self-pity were foreign to him. He was full of gratitude, he praised his Heavenly Father every chance he got and was the first to let you know he was follower of Christ. He was living proof that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Ignoring other's doubts, he graduated from high school, learned to drive and then met and married a wonderful woman only 4 years ago.
Last Tuesday Tim mentioned that his back was hurting a little more than normal. No one thought too much of it; pain was part of his reality. Tim went to sleep in Everson that night, and woke up in the presence of His Lord and Savior before morning, whole at last!
It was fitting that his memorial service was on Veteran's Day. He was a true "veteran" of life lived to the fullest in spite of the "battlefield" of adversity. And he was victorious! The church was packed, standing room only, filled with young and old....all those lives he touched!
Well done, good and faithful servant. We'll miss you Tim, but we'll see you soon!