“I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. Everyone looks out for their own interest, not those of Jesus Christ.” Phil.3:20, 21 (The apostle Paul speaking about Timothy)
A couple of weeks ago I told you about a beautiful woman; someone with whom I’ve lived for sixty years. Today I’m going to tell you about a beautiful man; someone I’ve known for 88 years. Someone I’ve watched my entire lifetime — in good and bad circumstances. And I’m here to tell you that he’s a beautiful man.
I recognize that we more often use the word beautiful to describe women, but when we understand beauty as something more than our outward appearance then it can refer to either man or woman.
In the early years when he was a teenager this fellow had a streak of wildness in him. He was daring and mischievous, which frankly I envied. (I was too shy and insecure to do what he did). In his teenage years he was very popular with the girls and had plenty of them who wanted a chance for a date. He has curly hair, that mischievous smile, and a readiness to have fun. And he was fun to be with.
This beautiful man grew up around automobiles and became very competent at doing repairs. All his life he has been a remarkable trouble shooter with a healthy dose of creativity thrown in. His employers valued his work ethic, his skill as a mechanic, and his trustworthiness. An employer’s dream employee.
In his early twenties he married and soon had six children. But the pressures of life began to take a toll with work demands, a wife with health issues and his own unhealthy lifestyle. For one thing he was addicted to alcohol. Finally, he came to a breaking point and knew that he was in trouble. He said, “All I could picture was that I was on a very high slide, going down real fast, and soon I would hit bottom and be in hell.”
Suddenly, unexpectedly, he had a distinct sense of the Lord speaking to him. “Ken, if you do what I ask, I’ll get you out of this mess.” He responded to that challenge and committed his life to Jesus Christ’s sovereign leadership. And that’s when his journey began shaping him into a beautiful man.
That man is my brother, Ken. I’ve watched him for 88 years and I’m telling you that today he is one beautiful man. I have been blessed, challenged and encouraged by his life. Let me highlight a few marks of beauty that I see in him.
One, he is devoted to Jesus Christ and committed to honor him in every aspect of his life. If you spend any time with him you know that his one priority is to walk with Jesus.
Two, he is one of the most caring people that I know. He has never held a position in church or employment, but Ken has touched so many people that only eternity will reveal the results. As I write these words a host of memories flood my mind of people who have told me how Ken has touched their lives.
Three, Ken has a radiant joy that is infectious. He embodies the joy of the Lord. I have rarely seen this blending of devotion to Christ, love for others, joy of life and simplicity of lifestyle. I know of no one who exhibits it so well and so humbly as Ken.
Four, my brother lives in simplicity, generously sharing his limited resources with others.
Five, Ken always goes the second mile. He didn’t just shovel his own walk in the winter, he would do the neighbors’ too.
Six, he has extended father and grandfather care to his children without complaint. If I had time, I could tell you of incident after incident where his presence has brought hope, guidance and challenged to family members and friends. And he does this with a genuine smile on his face and joy in his heart.
If Ken knew that I was writing this, he would discourage my publishing it. He needs no notoriety! But I believe that we are living in a time in history when the world desperately needs to see men and women who are beautiful in the beauty of Jesus Christ.
Ken, Jesus Christ is very visible in you!