If you knew Rick, or even just talked to him for longer than 5 minutes, you knew (or would realize) just what a different creature he was.
- He did not think about things the same as others did. Often taking them off guard.
- He did not do things the same as others did. Which, according to many comments from others, took some getting used to! LOL
My daddy and momma were absolutely creatures of habit. And I was raised in that "habit house".
There was little deviation from what was "the norm" -
- we ate at a certain time, seldom did those meal times vary, regardless of who was there, or what else was going on.
- Momma did her housework on schedule, day after day, season after season.
- Daddy got up at the same time every morning, drank his coffee the same way, even went to the bathroom at the same time - and stayed the same amount of minutes.
The list goes on - and on.
I didn't know there was a different way of life.
Rick and I got married, and he changed my life!
I still remember the first time he walked into my Momma's house and he was hungry. He just went to the frig and started taking food out so he could make a plate. I gasped! NO ONE had ever, to my knowledge, done that! I held my breath - expecting? I don't know. The world to come to an end? Momma to explode? Rick to morph into a creature from another world?
But - nothing dramatic happened.
Momma simply said, "Son, if you are hungry - there is . . . " and she went on to tell him what was in each bowl. She offered to heat it up for him, and he just said, "Naw, I can get it. Thank you though."
And Momma LET HIM!
Rick openly discussed God, religions, philosophies, ideas, concepts, politics. There was nothing he would not talk about. Whether it was in the privacy of our home, or out in the yard with a neighbor, on the job with a customer, or in the middle of the grocery store.
He ate supper foods for breakfast, and breakfast foods for supper.
He has woke me up at 2 am to go for a drive in the snow, or to go out for breakfast at the all-night diner in town.
He has slept till the afternoon.
And he often got up in the middle of the night to sit outside under the stars.
In all those years, there was little rhyme or reason in the "timing" of what he did.
When he was in sales, both selling welding supplies and dairy supplies - he was outstanding!
We moved to Idaho for his job, and we were handed a list of dairies, a map book, and the keys to a truck. Told to "go find us customers". The average sales for the previous many months were about $6000 each month. In less than a year, Rick had his sales averaging around $40,000 per month!
He was not a pushy salesman. His whole idea was to show the customer what they needed - whether they realized it or not. And time after time, the customer would have a literal pile of supplies ready to purchase, look at it and say, "Rick, I didn't know I needed all this!" To which Rick would simply say, "If you don't think you need anything here, I will gladly take it off the ticket." The customer would shake his head and say, "No, I actually do need everything here!"
When he was in the pulpit preaching, he was still that one who refused to be stuck in a paradigm.
He did not do things the way that people expected, nor the way things had always been done.
One Sunday morning he had us get to the church a couple of hours before anyone else. And we hid all kinds of small appliances under the pews in the sanctuary. Then, he had 2 extension cords ready to stretch out. Because the sermon was "Extension Cord Christians".
Teaching by seeing how that unless we were plugged into the Source of Power, we were only good for taking up space.
To this day, even after 8 years of him being gone - I occasionally hear someone comment on that particular sermon and what a difference it made to the way that they think, and live their lives.
We moved up into the mountains of Idaho to take a church position. Pastor of Atlanta Christian Chapel, in Atlanta Idaho. We were going to be the first ones to live in the church year round. It was a 7,000 square foot building. Used as the only church in town, the town hall, and a retreat center for groups to come experience the mountain life.
One Saturday evening I was hungry for a hamburger. The only restaurant in town was a bar and grill. Rick went and ordered us 2 burger baskets. While he was waiting on them to cook, he ordered a non-alcoholic beer, and played a couple rounds of pool. A guy was sitting at the bar watching him. After a few minutes, this guy came over and asked Rick, "Aren't you the pastor of the church?" Yes, I am - was Rick's response. "Then, what are you doing in a bar?"
Rick's answer: "My wife was hungry for a hamburger. So, I'm here to get her one."
This guy had refused to come to church in all the years he had lived in town. The next morning, he was the first one in the door! He told us, "I had to come see if y'all were as real as it seems!" He rarely missed a service the rest of the time we were there!
Rick and I were often called - "strange", "weird", "not quite right". LOL
But somehow, it worked.
He just wanted to be REAL.
- good. bad. indifferent.
Just to be REAL.
And he was.
May I continue to be.