Today we lost an amazing man of God—Dr. Howard G. Hendricks. For more than sixty years he served on the faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary. (Read about his life here: http://www.dts.edu/read/howard-hendricks-prof/).
He had a rough start in life. His parents split and his grandmother raised him. She labeled him a “troublemaker.” His fifth grade teacher said he was “most likely to end up in prison.” But in sixth grade his teacher poured into him and let him know he was someone special. Indeed he was.
Dr. Hendricks’ story reminded me a little of my husband’s story. His parents divorced and remarried several times. His home life was never stable. With no one to care or help him in school, he didn’t excel. He and his twin brother were singled out to work in the kitchen because their parents applied for the boys to have free lunches. His high school guidance counselor advised him to steer away from college. But what did she know? After a couple of years in the Marine Corp Gene returned to college and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and sociology.
What made the difference? My girls and I jokingly say lots of guardian angels. One of those angels was Gene’s great aunt, Glenola. She and her husband took Gene and his twin brother into their home off and on throughout their childhood. In junior high they lived with them permanently. Glenola gave Gene not only a stable home, but love, a knowledge of God, a strong work ethic, and the “normal” childhood his parents could not.
God worked in Gene’s life and Gene responded to the “angels” God sent his way. Glenola’s influence in Gene’s life set him on a track to be a wonderful husband, father, and man of God. He now pours love, encouragement, and his help into our lives.
None of us can imagine how powerful our love, attention, and prayers are in the lives of our kids, their friends, and the kids we interact with in church and in our kids’ schools. Many kids (including our own) need to be listened to and encouraged. It may be the only positive attention they receive all week.
Every day every little thing we do or say can have a positive impact on those around us. It’s true. My man is living proof.
God can use our lives to powerfully impact those who need it most—His little lambs. What child can you encourage and tell them you believe in them?
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.