Have you known someone who you described as “the real deal”? You know, they just stood out in the crowd, not necessarily because they were talented or flashy, but because they were genuine.
I recently attended the memorial service of a man I had never met. Yet, his life impacted me.
As I listened to the stories of family and friends—one after another—I came to the same conclusion. This man was the real deal. Although humble, he had led many to Christ over the years. In fact, the consensus was that he never passed up an opportunity to tell someone about the Savior whom he loved so dearly.
His children stood up to honor a father who prayed for them, as well as, for many around the world. They spoke of his concern for those on the fringe of society and of the many prisoners who had been led to Christ through his ministry. His love for young people was displayed as he ministered through youth events and became a chaplain to baseball players.
I watched as grown men spoke, with tears running down their cheeks, of the impact their friend, brother, father, or mentor had on their lives.
My husband had shared his own story with me earlier that day. During a ministry assignment, he and his friend were writing Bible study curriculum for teenagers. He looked up to see tears running down his friend’s face as he wrote. When he asked if he was alright, the answer was, “God’s grace to us is so wonderful!”
I left the memorial service a little different than I had entered … my eyes more focused on Jesus, my heart desiring more to make a difference in my generation.
Yes, this man who I had never met made an impact on my life that day—just as he had on the lives of countless others. That seems to be what happens when we have the good fortune, and blessing, of crossing paths with someone who is the real deal.