I just finished reading a book by Andy Andrews called the Noticer. I believe it is based on a true story about the early years of Andy’s life. You see, Andy lost both his parents at an early age. As time went on and through a number of bad decisions, he soon found himself homeless and living under a pier in the seaside town of Orange Beach, Alabama.
Andy, being caught up in his own life and full of self-pity wondered to himself if life were just on big lottery ticket. He wondered if some people just got all the breaks and others, well…just didn’t.
Then one day a man named Jones appeared under the pier. Jones calls himself a Noticer. Jones shared with Andy that in times of trouble in our lives, we are looking for answers. Sometimes the answers are simply not available. Therefore, what we need to do is to change our perspective. A change in perspective allows us to see things differently. In doing this, we notice things that we had previously overlooked and many times in that new view…we find our answers.
I recently lost my stepfather, Bob Lucas to melanoma. So, like many of my family, I’m hurting. I’m wondering how I am going to fill that big gap in my life Bob used to occupy. I’m worried about how my Mom is going to get along. I’m looking for answers that will lead me away from this hurt…and I can’t seem to find any.
So I thought I might try to do what Jones shared with Andy…to try to change my perspective. I thought I might step back a moment and look at the situation in a different way.
So I wondered, “What if God gave us a gift in Bob Lucas?”
I looked at all the different aspects of Bob’s life in this new perspective and this is what I realized…
Connection – At Bob’s memorial service and standing in front of a church full of family and friends, I witnessed the result of the connections Bob had made in his life. By doing something very simple, yet profound, Bob found a way of connecting each of us to not only him, but to each other. The only reason we were all gathered there in that moment was due to a very personal connection that was made at some point in time between Bob and each individual in that church. He had impacted each of us in a unique and personal way.
Father – Bob gave the world three amazing children that have each grown to affect the lives of countless others by mirroring the aspects he exhibited as a father.
Husband – Bob loved my Mom. We all got to share in that love. Every morning of their 33 years together began the same way. With Bob asking my Mom over breakfast, “what can I do for you today”? Many times this request was made after Bob had gone out in the backyard and picked a new blossom from one of the many hibiscus trees that he tended.
Son in Law – Bob loved my Mom’s parents. Nana and Big Jim were lovingly woven into Bob’s character and heart. I don’t ever remember a day that Bob didn’t share a story or quote from my grandparents that was relevant to a situation we were currently experiencing. As I was going through all of our family photos from over the years, it reminded me of all the times that Bob was there for them. He and Mom would make countless trips to Naples, FL and to Radford, VA to help, visit and celebrate the lives of my grandparents.
Man – Bob was a man’s man. He worked hard. He retired from the telephone company in Radford, VA. He was a diehard Virginia Tech Hokie fan. He was an avid golfer and loved good competition.
Lover of Animals – Boom, Cali, Sallie were all pets that Bob gave his love to. There is a quote I read somewhere that stated that there is a part of every person’s soul that can only be unlocked by loving an animal. Bob loved all animals and it pained him tremendously when anyone would harm a little one.
Lover of Nature – Springtime, birds, squirrels, hawks and rabbits were all friends of Bob. He loved to care for all the creatures of his backyard. He fed them each day and knew the daily habits of each one and loved to share their stories.
Lover of God – Bob did not overtly express his religious views. However, he had a deep love for God. He showed this love by actively loving and tending to God’s creations and gifts. He was also a fan of Dr. Charles Stanley and would slip off into his room to quietly watch his program each Sunday morning.
So, by looking at Bob’s life from the perspective of a gift that God gave us actually allows me to see things differently.
Through Bob, my family and our friends were able to experience directly, how to live our lives. Bob was a role model of a Father, Husband, Friend, and Man. I got to see it and experience it first hand. What a gift!
While each of us are burdened with questions of what we will become in life, what are we doing with our lives, what will leave behind in our lives and what our legacy should be in life. Maybe we need to thank God for allowing us to get to know His gift to us in Bob Lucas. For through his life and his way of living…he has shown us the way to live our lives.
Bob’s life was a gift. I thank God for that. I have been given a personal example of how I should live my life. A live of service to others. A life of loving and giving of self. A life of loving all that God has created. Thank you God.
There is not doubt that when God received Bob back into His care, Bob heard the words that all of us long to hear at the end of our lives…
Well done…good and faithful servant. What a gift!