I met a hero a few weeks ago. Actually, I met two of them. Their names were Frank and Ruth.
Lisa and I were in East Tennessee leading a marriage retreat for a friend's church. It was a great group of people who came from all stages of life. Frank and Ruth were a part of that group. Together they had spent over 63 years as a married couple. In that time, they had faced a lot of things together. A lot of things. The kind of things that cause most modern marriages to fail. Financial struggles. Disagreements. Tough times. But, together, they had faced them, overcome them and become stronger because of it.
Friday night at the retreat began with Mr. Frank sharing some of his best jokes. Then he and Ruth sang a couple of songs together. It's a moment I won't soon forget. By the time they had finished their second song, I was completely intimidated. How do you teach a couple that's been married 63 years how to improve their marriage? I wanted to give them the microphone and sit down and take notes.
In my own way, I did. I took notes all weekend. I watched two love-birds as they showed me what marriage is all about. They talked about faith. They joked and laughed a lot. They smiled often. He opened her door. She looked at him as if he had just walked off the high school football field and won her heart all over again.
Do you understand why they became my heroes? I only knew them for three brief days and they made a huge impact on Lisa and me. I was blessed because of the time we shared.
Last night, Mr. Frank went to be with Jesus--a sudden heart attack, I believe. I would appreciate your prayers for Ms. Ruth. Her best friend of 63 years is gone. But I have no doubt in my mind he has received his "heroes welcome." Thanks for running the race so well, Frank and Ruth. I was watching...and I was changed.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1 NLT