Thursday, August 11, 2011

"he came early so he could leave early"

On most Thursdays at camp Willard comes to volunteer.  He often drives the backhoe and fills in pot holes in the road, drives things around on the tractor and does a ton of other manual labor.  This summer he dug a 4 foot deep trench around on of our bathrooms because we needed to find a water pipe that was leaking (still looking for it...).  Willard came up and for a few days dug around with the backhoe and by hand.  He sits on the backhoe in the sweltering heat, wearing jeans and a work shirt.  He made the comment during the week where it was a hundred plus degrees outside that it had to be another 20 degrees hotter on top of the backhoe.  Yet he still did it willingly.  In fact, when asked if he would rather do something else inside, he said no because that project was important to get done.  I went with Willard and another staff member Jay to pick up some logs from a home near here.  A gentleman had cut down some cedar trees from his property and was donating them.  We needed to cut them into smaller pieces and load them into the back of a van and on a trailer.  I thought that Willard would come out with us and use the chainsaw to cut the logs. No.  Willard went straight for the pieces that were already cut and told me to hop on the other end to start carrying them with him.

I went up to breakfast this morning and saw that Willard was here already.  I made the comment to Jay (also the maintenance guy) that Willard is here early.  He told me that Willard came early so he could leave a bit early today.  Here's the cool part.  Willard is into his 80's!  He's lived life and is retired.  He doesn't have to come to camp to do all this manual labor.  He just does it.  He does it because he cares about this place and the ministry happening here.  He does it because he believes in what this camp is.  He's a wonderful man who is giving up his Thursdays to help out with manual labor.  And because he needs to leave early today, he showed up early so that he could give the same amount of time as he usually does.

This was really inspiring to me!  He could have just as easily taken the day off or just left early anyway.  Instead, he showed up an hour or two before he usually would and got right to work.  Right now, I can hear him out on the tractor taking stuff to the burn pit with Jay.  I hope that when I am in my 80's I can still be half as active and half the man that Willard is!  The guy is a true champion!  He's a man of very few words but when he does talk, he's inspiring.  A man of few words, but lots of action.  A man whose actions can teach so much.

Thank you Willard!

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