Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3329

Jump Start # 3329

2 Samuel 3:38 “Then the king said to his servants, ‘Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen in Israel this day?’”

  Just ever so often, if a person is really fortunate and blessed, there comes along a special person in their life that is so meaningful and helpful that your life is made the better because of that. One never forgets that person. His name was Robert, but most knew him simply as Bob. For me, it was always brother Bob. He was a successful businessman, owning and running a major school bus company. He was the chairman of the board of Florida College for a quarter of a century, leading the small, struggling campus through some dark and difficult times. Quick with a smile, tender in heart, he was a kind man. His heart was as big as the world. He was one you could count on. He helped so many people financially to get through tough times, to start businesses and to send their kids to college. He could spend the day talking politics. He was an avid Republican and he let you know that.

  I knew bro. Bob for twenty-five years. It was through the church that our lives intersected and from that we became friends. I have golfed with him many times, eaten at his table, dined with him at the country club and ridden in fear of my life as he drove his car. I’ve heard him tell the same jokes a dozen times, but, even though I knew the punch line, it still was funny each time. We have attended weddings and funerals together. Bob and I went to visit so many people. It was a regular occurrence, nearly every week for us. How sweet those conversations were, always asking about my family and how things were going. I always offered to drive, but he wouldn’t have it. I just closed my eyes and prayed a lot when he drove. He’d show up at the hospital before someone had surgery and offer a prayer with them. That’s just the way he was.

  The first time I ever met Bob, we had driven from Indiana with our family to his home in Raymore, Missouri. I was looking to fill the preaching job at Hickman Mills. My wife and I and our four kids sat in the van in front of his house. I had heard that he was a wealthy man. My wife instructed the kids not to walk around with their mouths open and do not touch anything. As my wife and I were talking to JoAnn, I noticed a light being turned on and off and on and off. I went into that room, ready to scold my kids, and it was Bob showing my children how the chandelier worked. He was a kid at heart. And that was the start of a decade relationship of working with him. Bob served as one of the shepherds at Hickman Mills. His roots ran very, very deep in that Hickman congregation. He loved those people and he wanted to see a lasting and thriving work there. He left a powerful example of love, dedication and service.

  We had a work day at the church building a long time ago. Someone was looking for Bob. I walked around and found him in the men’s bathroom, scrubbing a toilet. A guy that owned his own business. The chairman of the board of a college. An elder in the church. Successful. Important. Busy. But not too good to get on his knees and clean a toilet. He never complained about doing it. He never wondered why someone else didn’t do it. There was something to be done, and he could do it. And, those that knew Bob, saw things like this all the time. He was always ready to help. He was never too busy to listen. He was a wonderful encourager.

  There was a time early in his life that he had cancer. He asked the Lord that if he spared him that he would dedicate his life in serving the Lord. And, that he did with a vengeance. Whatever Bob did, he was all in. He didn’t dabble in golf. He was good at it. He wasn’t a casual Christian, he was all in. And, when it came to the Lord, no one knew how to worship any better than bro. Bob. Although he wore many hats in life, the one that he was most proud of was simply being a disciple of Jesus. He prayed like no one else. He could dig treasures out of Scriptures that most would have missed. And, he simply loved people. His family. His friends. His church. His neighbors. Few people loved life and did as much good as Bob Harmon did.

  When I started these daily blogs thirteen years ago, Bob not only read every one, but he would print them and put them in notebooks. I know. He has shown them to me.  I am thankful that my four children were old enough to have witnessed this good man and each have their own precious memories of how kind and helpful he was. They saw first hand what a servant looks like.

  What made Bob, Bob? First it was his love, trust and faith in Jesus. He truly believed. Second, it was never forgetting where he came from. Third, it was his love for people like you and me. He cared. He shared. Charles Dickens has Jacob Marely saying to Ebenezer Scrooge in  A Christmas Carol, “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business.”  Bob Harmon got that. His business was us. His business was the kingdom. He dedicated his life to helping us be better. He would do what he could to see that.

  And, now, sweet Bob has finished his journey here. He joins his brother Dick and JoAnn, and his own sons and his beloved JoAnn in that rest promised by the Lord. Our verse this day speaks of a prince and a great man that has fallen. Such could be said of our beloved Bob. He stood out as a prince, a one of a kind. His wealth wasn’t showy but was a pathway he used to help others. His love of the Lord has carried him through dark days. He was a believer and was not ashamed of that. He prayed. He worshipped. He walked with the Lord. And, for that, his heart and his character reflected Jesus.

 Those of us that were touched by the love and goodness of this great man not only are blessed but in a small way that torch passes on to us. Indeed a prince and a great man has been among us and we are the better because of that. I am better because of that.

  Thank you, Lord, for putting amazing people in our lives. Thank you, for Bob Harmon. Thank you, for putting our beloved Bob in our lives. He is where he has always wanted to be, in Your presence, Lord.

  May we do the good that this great man has done.

  We are blessed.