Over the last two weeks, I’ve reflected on the life of my friend, Dick Roberson. Jesus brought Dick into His Presence on January 5th, 2018. In preparing to do his memorial service with his wife Teresa, I had the remarkable privilege to spend the last 10 days in his Bible.
Dick grew up in Austin, played baseball for UT at the old Clark Field. I remember this field from my early days in Austin. It had a stone wall in the outfield, which was a huge home field advantage for the Longhorns. Dick shared with me how they taught him, as a freshman, to stick his spike in the wall to jump on top.
My friend was a national champion in baseball and handball, at the University of Texas. Dick also played professional baseball, and coached UT’s handball team to national championships.
He became a successful broker in Austin for more than 37 years. His clients became close friends, because of how Dick loved and cared for them. Many of them were with us on Thursday as we celebrated his life.
Most impressive, though, was the commitment Dick made in the 70s, to read his Bible every night. As I turned through his Bible, I was overwhelmed by his notes, all the underlined passages, with comments like “Amen!” and “Wow!”, along with the names of his loved ones written by specific verses.
We celebrated Dick’s 86 years with us and the fact that he is now in the presence of The Lord. His friends and family remembered him, using words like generous, kind, accomplished, integrity, encouraging, wise, gracious and gentleman.
Every single one of those descriptive complimentary words made sense to me. Having spent time in his Bible, I could see the fruit of his effort. His wisdom, humility, accomplishments and integrity had their source in an underlined book of Proverbs.
His knowledge of The Lord, trust in Him and heart for Him were discovered in his time in the book of Psalms. He learned each night the character of God and how trustworthy He is by reading all the things David says about Him.
As I read through the Gospels, I noticed Dick had blocked in the charge Jesus gave His disciples to love others, even giving up their lives for their friends. Under this passage, Dick wrote “Key to Abundant Life.”
Ultimately, my friend experienced this truth he had underlined in the passage of Romans:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:1-2 NIV
The secret to this old book held together by duct tape isn’t the wisdom that’s in it. Truly, the words bring life and offer incredible insight. But, the secret is as we spend time in God’s Word, He meets us in it.
Dick underlined the Romans verses, and wrote beside them “change your life.” Dick is right! As we spend time in the Bible, we begin to sense the Presence of the Lord. In the most gentle way possible, the Creator, our Father, begins to change our life.
He did this for my friend Dick, and He will do it for you, too!
“The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them.” - Psalm 16:3