Dedicated to Mr. Chuck Dickerson

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55

May 3rd at 10:00 p.m. Mr. Chuck Dickerson passed away.  Today this post is a reblog from May 4, 2015.

“I wish I could do more.

I wish this blog was read by lots of folks because the man I am going to write about today deserves to be acknowledged.

He’s no longer at St. John. He knows what acts of service means.  That is his life.

This past couple of years he has had some serious health scares and his family thought it better to take him to an assisted living facility in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Chuck is many miles away from me

But not in my heart.

Let me tell you about Chuck.

Staunch supporter of St. John. Retired career Air Force.  Long-time maintenance supervisor at a local plant.

The man could do anything with his hands.

When I got close to him as a cherished friend, it was at Hopkinsville Community College. Chuck was taking a basic public speaking class and I was his professor.  I recognized him from church on the first day of class and it was a little intimidating to have him there but I knew this guy was not an ordinary student.

He was a humble man and at times seemed to lack confidence at the podium.

Still, he made all his speeches and got better throughout the semester. I still remember a speech he made on “The Castle on the Cumberland.”  He made Eddyville State Penitentiary an interesting topic.

I wondered why this senior citizen was taking a college speech class so late in life?

Then I found out more about him as our relationship grew. He shared a lot of details about his life [his world travels, his life with his wife Martha and his kids].  He got to know me.  I got to know him.

Believe it or not, we started writing letters to each other and he cherished the letters. It was such an honor to send a letter to this wonderful man and know that he cherished it.  He actually kept my letters.  He showed me that he did.

One thing he did not talk a lot about was the many things he did for his church and his community. The more I got to know him the more I saw that this retired man was not retired at all.  He kept himself busy performing acts of service for others, acts of love inspired by his love for God, acts of service with no payment required.

You see Chuck was not content to let others do the work.   As long as he could help, he did help.

He took me out of my comfort zone many times.   Slowly but surely he made me see that helping others is a good thing and it is what God intends us to do with our skills and abilities.

The thing that he encouraged me to do that I never could do is go on a prison ministry trip. He and his other friends would go to prison and witness to those incarcerated.

Maybe one day Chuck.

He encouraged me to go on the Emmaus Walk and I finally went. Like most people on this retreat, I had no idea what to expect.  I just lived moment by moment as the weekend began.  I found out that the Emmaus Walk could be seen as a class in Christianity 101.  Speakers would come in and talk to us about various topics, topics of great concern to all of us.

As we went into the room where the talks were to be held, I was a bit nervous, not knowing what to expect and then the first speaker arrived—Chuck.

I will never forget his talk.

I knew how hard it was for him to give it. He had worked hard in my speech class overcoming the fear of stage fright to give that talk but he did it.

I doubt that anyone in the room had more feeling than I did as I watched him. I was overcome with emotion as I saw this man of God providing another service.

Today, Chuck is far from me physically, but as I said before, he lives within my heart.

To Chuck, with love for all your acts of service.”

Mr. Dickerson will be returning to Hopkinsville next week. I will be at his memorial service celebrating his life.

 

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