This post is simply a letter to the wife of a man that was supremely instrumental to my growth as a person. He went home when I was in high school, so it was quite a few years ago. It’s funny how people can be just people until they’re gone and you’re forced to think on their impact.
I remember being in school at the time and not having a ride there or back. Its funny, because as a kid, Rick was just another adult that made me follow rules, though he did it marvelously. I remember actually thinking he could sleep standing up and with his eyes open. I think most of us were quite intimidated by him. Which is weird, because as an adult now and working in youth ministry, I can see now how much of a heart he had to have to put up with us, as most of us boys were blatant with our sins of choice. He may have yelled at us a few times and wanted to bury us somewhere on the island we camped at so often. But it was purely out of love. I look back on my life and see how the influences in my life have always been very nuanced. It seems like my faith and trust in God has always been sustained by a single action of God or of a person through Him. Rick kept me just close enough to the edge of the Cross that I couldn’t let go for fear of the edge. It amazes me that God can use a person for a time and for such great things only to move us to someone new as we mature. It makes me excited to see Jesus in the flesh, to know that once I meet Him there will never be anyone better. No one that will love me more. I respect Rick in a way I might not respect any other man. I miss him and wish he could read this, but I suppose I’ll have to wait until heaven to tell him. Thanks for loving him and helping him to be a great man. His is a debt I can never repay.
There are hundreds of things I could say about Rick Thorndike. But he was a man of few words, so that will suffice. I hope that this post will simply point anyone to the importance of our families, in all their shapes. And how loving Christ is that He would give us these people to treasure. But beyond that, that Christ suffered, died, and rose again so we could treasure Him. And I am speechless at that grace. Thank you Lord for loving me in all your ways.