Forgive me if this is a bit rambling, but I’m writing a bit later than I would have liked. There are some men who come into your life seeming by happenstance. Eight years ago, there was a family that had been visiting our church for a while, but I really didn’t know them. They sat on the other side, and none of the kids were my age (at least from the perspective of a 16 year old). I knew the father was a teacher or something, but they soon announced they were moving, so my lack of knowing more really didn’t matter. Then, it happened.
This was when I was working with a construction company. We had a killer of a remodel job that summer. It was an old house and hadn’t been updated any since, I would guess, the late 50s or early 60s. Needless to say, it was rather labor intensive undertaking. As I said, the family was relocating. Mr. Marc had finished the previous academic year, and was transferring to a new school system in northeast Georgia. In the meantime, my boss asked him if he wanted to join the crew (He had worked construction while he was in college) for a few weeks in between the professional gigs.
Mr. Marc and I were tasked to work together, adding a light in the attic. It was the middle of summer, in the south. Attics in the south in the summer are best described as hell. Needless to say, it was HOT. If you know me, you know that I don’t take heat well. I thought I was not so slowly melting. The only thing that made those few days bearable was getting to know Mr. Marc.
I don’t know if he remembers it or not. I was still in high school, but planning on going to the tech school to pursue a certificate in residential wiring. (Yes, this now professor’s dirty little secret… my first post secondary program was a tech school.) Anyway… since I was going off to the big bad tech school, he gave me a verse to remember.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. ~ Colossians 2:8
That verse stuck with me the following seven years as I finished my four programs. Then a few years ago, they moved back. As time continued to go on, I noticed something. He was one of the first ones to treat me as a man, instead of a child. I know that sounds weird, but when there are people with an age gap, that you’ve know for your entire life, it takes longer. It was like with Mr. Marc, the gap was just small enough, and given that we really started to get to know each other when I was in my 20s, and he accepted me into adulthood.
Mr. Marc is a man whose passion for God is obvious in his life, and that passion reflects in his family. His children range from teenagers to infants, and their love and respect for him is obvious. He is not afraid to stand up for what he believes is right, even when his opinion is not popular. He has laid the foundations of many generations of Godly offspring. “His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed” (Psalm 72:17). Even beyond that, he has proven an example to me of the rewards which occur when scriptural principles are maintained.
Thank you, Mr. Marc, for being an example to me. Thank you for accepting me as, albeit admittedly somewhat younger, peer. Thank you for your friendship, and the friendship of your family.