This might just be about YOU

24 Sep

Today I did a funeral for a man who made a huge impact on my life.  And even though life and circumstances have been so that I haven’t spent a lot of time with him in the past 20 years, I still very clearly see his impact on my life today.

This blog post is for every parent who spends time with the friends of their kids.  Who opens their homes, their tables, their lives to their “kids” who do not share their blood or DNA.

When I look at the adults who shaped my life, my parents hold the top spot on that list.  I see them in myself every day.  And, honestly, there are several other adults who are on that list.  Who played major roles in shaping who I would become.  Who helped to make me the man I am today.  There are teachers, coaches, mentors, friends.  And then there are my other dads.  There are only a couple of them.  They were the fathers of my friends as I was growing up, and they helped teach me what it means to be a man… a dad … a husband.  I see their fingerprints in my life as well.  As I rode and walked into the wilds of Honduras this past summer, delivering Bibles and helping churches, ALL of these were with me.  And I think about them often.

Today, I did the funeral of one of my “dads.”  His name?  Walter Ronald Burton, but we knew him as “Nick.”  How did they get “Nick” from Walter Ronald??  I asked often.  Nick had a different answer every time.  That is just how he rolled!!  He had a great sense of humor and knew the value of laughter.  Always had an encouraging word when we needed it.  Would cut our tails when we needed it as well.  He loved his family, and he loved those of us who were his sons’s friends and considered us family as well.

Nick and his sweet wife, Jane, were those parents.  The ones who would open their doors to us.  Who would get us to stay for supper.  As a dad, I now KNOW there had to be times when he came home from a long day of work, saw our cars in his driveway, and just cringed.  But we NEVER saw that or knew that.  That is just how he was.

So, to you parents who do that today. Who open their homes, tables, hearts, and lives to the friends of their children, I leave you with this:  YOU HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT THE INFLUENCE YOU ARE MAKING RIGHT NOW.  DO IT WELL!!  Do it like Nick.  Because you ARE making a difference.  YOU are shaping lives.  And that is pretty cool!!

Now … Of all of the great mysteries of life, I guess I will have to wait until I get to Heaven to ask Nick, once again, “Why Nick?”  And I cannot wait for the 20 new answers he will have for me!!!

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