My eyes are in tears—but the tears don’t blur my eyesight; they glisten what I see.
A short explanation.
One of the churches I served was Broadmoor Community Church [United Church of Christ] in Colorado Springs, 1980-88. Many members were military retirees, all ranks. Even one Colonel who was the last off the American Embassy roof in Saigon…and to my blessings, two generals who made it possible for me to attend two War Colleges—the Army’s in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania and the Air Force’s in Montgomery, Alabama.
In the mix of those friendships, one family never missed church. Their son, Tad, gosh, was maybe 3 or 4 years of age. Bob Dickman was a Lt. Colonel. Beautiful family whose faith was strong and their caring spirit—prompted by faith—ever helping those whose needs were great. Recognizing and reducing needs was Bob’s mantra. He was quiet, steadfast. I KNEW he and Barb would be great parents. Okay, that’s easy now in retrospect, but it was true then.
One moment brought Bob and me together in an unbreakable bond. I didn’t announce to anyone, but headed to Webster Groves, Missouri, to attend Eden Theological Seminary’s Commencement Service, during which I received a graduate degree. During the reception I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and needed smelling salts—at least emotionally. Standing there with a handshake and a hug was Lt. Colonel Bob Dickman. He was there! To affirm his pastor. Oh my goodness.
It was a wonderful reciprocating moment when Rob received the honor of becoming a General. I was so honored to be a guest of the family.
All that. Every powerful moment of that came to clear focus a minute ago. I received an e-mail from Bob and Barb, sharing an interview with their son, Tad Dickman. Tears flow in gratitude…and great pride in how Tad has lived…so very well in terms of focus and resolution and value. He’s now a fixture with the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars…how good is that? [I won’t ask him about this year’s Super Bowl winner!] With no doubt in the world, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
So, I share…in how the joy of friendship—and the value of caring—make a difference. I know that Bob Dickman is a life-long friend. One of the most beautiful blessings of God to me. And with that, love and value to Barb and only the continued best to Tad…here’s the interview…GO TAD!