Thursday, February 8, 2007

Heroes #3

One of my all time favorite heroes is a young man I met in college. In my own memory he had a somewhat unkempt appearance at times; his shirt on one side never did seem to want to stay tucked into his pants. He wore these big black rimmed glasses that always seemed askew. However, behind this seemingly mild mannered exterior was a wonderful, beautiful man of God. His name is George Everson. [inset- George today]

I met George through the pencil and paper role-playing group I was involved with in college. He had a peculiar habit that seemed to me to be quaint. Whenever things got to be intense in the game, he would oscillate his pencil in between his forefinger and his thumb, holding the sharpened side. The direr the situation became in the game, the faster the pencil would go! The rest of us picked up on this, and we began at one point to tease the poor guy, with the objective being to make the pencil flip out of his hands and across the room. “Hey George, do you think there is a fire breathing dragon in that cave, getting ready to flame us all into crispy crumbles of blackened toast?” The pencil would immediately go much faster, like a crazed metronome run amok. “Yeah, yeah, ok, knock it off, guys,” he would say, and we would all share a laugh, but I think he understood that this form of banter was motivated from a heart of friendship.

The thing that I most remember about George is his steadfast devotion to God in prayer and in his daily life. He was in pain at times due to scoliosis. He also had some sort of heart condition from my recollection (this was when he was in his early to mid 20’s). He never complained about it. Not once. He was, and is, an extremely compassionate individual and an excellent listener. If I ever had a problem or an issue I was facing, it was important to him. His compassion is a reflection of the love of God in his heart, of that I am certain. I have not met an individual to this day who reminds me of God’s love as does George Everson.

He lived at the time I knew him in this small, unfinished basement. Wires, pipes, concrete walls, no ceiling, and concrete floors adorned this place. He had a small couch to sleep on, with a single, frayed blanket. He considered it home. That’s humility, something that in my opinion is severely lacking in this country. If I ever brought a friend to meet him, he was a gracious host, offering whatever he had (which wasn’t much) to share.

It is exceedingly rare to find any single such attribute as I have mentioned above in one person, let alone all of them lumped together. George, if you ever read this, that’s why you are one of my heroes.

Armchair coach
Amateur historian

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