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by louis gander
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A very special person.
Few would call him that today.
He was not an important elected official.
He was not a well-known celebrity.
He was not a CEO,
nor even 'important'.

In the mid 50's
after heart trouble
doctors suggested a dryer climate,
a warmer climate-
so he moved to Texas - Weslaco, Texas.
He knew no one there.
And of course,
Mexico was just across the river.
His wife stayed in Wisconsin
with the family
and grandchildren.

The Mexicans were very poor.
I suppose most of us knew that,
but few noticed.

I visited him once.
He lived in a trailer.
He didn't have heat
and it got cold at night,
but few noticed.

The border patrol got to know Homer.
They trusted him.
They knew him.
as they saw how he lived,
and the work he was doing.
We easily crossed the border
often into Mexico
and back,
without being checked.
He prayed, then delivered food.
He prayed, then delivered clothes.
He prayed, then delivered hope.
He prayed, then delivered change
to their lives.

For years he delivered their needs
and the Good Word,
but few noticed.

He didn't pastor a big church.
He didn't pastor any church.
I remember once
at a Wednesday night prayer meeting -
(during one of those rare times
he returned to Wisconsin)
several men stood up
and gave their testimonies.

Then Homer stood up.
He didn't say anything spectacular.
He just told of how poor his 'new friends' were
and how he was trying to help them.
He spoke for a bit
and asked for anything
we might be able to donate
and then started to sit.

But everyone wanted to hear more
so he continued.
He spoke for the full service.

No one left that service early -
and Pastor never spoke,
but few noticed.

His faith was strong,
He did great things,
but few noticed.

Decades later as he got older,
he moved in with us -
back here in Wisconsin.
I owned rentals and charged him nothing.
He insisted on paying, so he did,
$40 per month.
That paid the utilities.
He could afford that.
He stayed in a lower unit a few years
and I learned a lot
as I saw him daily.
We were kind of one big family.
A few times I walked in on him -
without knocking.
I noticed him in his room
down on his knees
He didn't hear me or see me
so I stepped back out.

He read his Bible and prayed continuously.
He carried his Bible everywhere -
He rarely left home without it.
He walked to the other end of town and back
twice a day, for exercise.
He loved Gods world.

He continued his normal routine-
his daily Christian walk,
but few noticed.

One day while driving east down main street-
on the far sidewalk,
I saw him.
There he was - up ahead
walking the same direction as I was driving.
I remember his distinctive walk -
a little hunched over,
a deliberate walk -
as if he knew just where he was going.

As I got closer -
as I looked closer -
at his side,
under his arm,
in his hand
was that same familiar Bible.
He didn't notice me.
I didn't sound my horn.
I just looked ahead
and smiled.

On the sidewalk
were other passers by.
I wondered if they, too, saw his Bible,
but few noticed.

A great believer.
A special person.
Maybe not a "special" person to our world,
but a special person to me -
and a very special person to God,
though few noticed.

Homer passed away in 1991
at the age of 95.
A few people in Weslaco, TX
or in Mexico
might still remember him.
The children he clothed then
would be in their 40s now.

Homer McDermott

He died poor,
but few noticed.

If every American
in this nation -
prayed as hard as he did,
worked as hard as he did,
gave as hard as he did -
if every American
in this nation -
showed as much love as he did,
to our neighbors here
and around the world,
America, once again, would be
that "shining city on a hill"
Reagan spoke of in Dallas, 1984.

And God would be defined
to the world
through pure Christian living -
and not by theology books
sold in bookstores or by,
(allow me to define it this way)

Homer didn't 'act' like a Christian -
Homer WAS a Christian.

Homer never worked for his salvation,
nor did he worry about his salvation,
nor did he charge
for his Christian service -
and neither shall I.
Few people knew Homer,
but God did.

Few people noticed Homer,
but God did -
and so did I.

Homer McDermott.
my grandfather,
~louis gander.

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Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw 22 May 2009
This article was chosen to be highlighted in the “Cheering Section” of the Faithwriters’ Message Boards. Congratulations! Click here to see yours and the others that were selected this week: General Submissions JEWEL CHEST
Gerti Blackwell 20 May 2009
You was truly blessed to have this wonderful man of God as an inspiration in your life. If everyone followed his example and lived for God instead of themselves, this world would be such a wonderful place. I never had the pleasure and honor of meeting my husband's mother (she was also Judy's mother),as she passed into God's loving arms at the young age of 48; but I have heard so many wonderful things about - such as her love for God and His Church. She too was a giver, and doer .. not an observer. I think they would have had a lot to talk about. Wonderful tribute to one of His Saints.
Judy Wilson 17 May 2009
I have know people like this Louis and it makes us want to strive harder to be remembered this way! Very touching !
Marijo Phelps 16 May 2009
It has been awhile since we heard from you and I am glad you shared this. Incredible man made alive through your writing. What a family heritage you have.
Joanne Sher  16 May 2009
You brought me to tears with this piece. What a wonderful man, and what a wonderful tribute to him. I love your use of repetition. VERY effective.
Verna Mull  16 May 2009
You have done it again! You whetted curiosity, brought out compassion,created admiration,conviced,brought out determination to follow the example, to notice those who are walking that path, and brought us to tears! What more can I say? God bless you. You are an inspiration! Verna Mull


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