None Of Us Are ‘Ordinary’!


A number of years ago I spent some time with a new friend. He is an ordinary man, and I guess that is what makes him so extraordinary.  You see, during our visit we began to talk of his life.  As he spoke of his mother and his impoverished upbringing I asked him about his father. He revealed that he didn’t know who his father was and that being a child of the 1950’s this had been an obstacle to overcome. His mother had become pregnant out-of-wedlock at 16 and even she didn’t know for sure who had fathered him. I said that it must have been hard as a child being raised under those circumstances, especially due to the times and morals of the day.  He agreed, but with a smile, he told me that, nevertheless, he had tried to make his life a success, and considered it such.  I agreed, as I know of his devotion to wife, family, and God.

Our conversation reminded me of an exchange I once had with a good friend of mine a number of years ago. We had been friends for many years when I happened upon him in a church hallway where we exchanged greetings.  After our greetings, he said to me:

“You know, all these years I have admired and wished that I had your talent for speaking, and being able to do all the things you do in the church.  Recently, though, I have come to realize that you have never had to overcome the trails and challenges that I have been presented with in my life.”

My friend’s statement was not made in anger or bitterness. It was just a fact that he had come to realize that I felt was absolutely true. (At least the part about his challenges being much greater than mine) I replied that I agreed with his assessment and that he might be surprised to know that I had admired him for his faithfulness and his courage in enduring and overcoming the many physical, and mental challenges that had come his way.  Indeed, this man would probably be astonished to know, that his courage had been a source of inspiration to me throughout the years. In fact, he might have found it hard to believe, but I had reflected upon his sacrifices for the gospel, and his faithfulness had brought me to tears on more than one occasion.

I have known many individuals, both men and women, who have overcome much in thier lives. I have great admiration for them. I have always believed in the parable of the talents regarding our station in this life.  If we are faithful, he will say:

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:16)

When my new friend and I parted that night, he asked if we could pray together. I said I would be happy to be the voice.  In the middle of my prayer I was overcome with the emotion of our conversation, because my faith in mankind had been uplifted. In this man, as well as in many others,  I have seen the face of courage, and it inspires me to want to be a better husband, father, and person. What a wonderful talent ordinary people have to uplift others to levels beyond themselves! Which proves, that none of us are ‘ordinary’ at all!

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