Of course, all of us who are of the Christian faith understand, Jesus was the real model servant. He did it flawlessly. Here on this earth, it is sometimes very difficult to cross paths with leaders who serve first. I am now going to brag! My son, John Frederick Smith II, was such a person. As a little boy, he was always called Ricky, the Rick part taken from his middle name. Throughout his elementary years at school and on the basketball court or baseball field, he was Ricky. Singing with his family's singing group, One Accord, he was also Ricky during those formative years. In high school, he dropped the "y" off of Ricky and was Rick Smith. By this time, he was becoming what he would ultimately be as a man, and that is being very concerned about people who didn't have much or were not popular in school. There was one girl at St. Charles High who was not pretty and definitely not in the mainstream of being one to whom others would gravitate. Not Rick, he always had time to make her feel like she was the most important person in the world.
Not long ago, Rick backed into a parked car in the parking lot near his office. Going inside to find the owner of the car, he discovered it belonged to a lady who had been domestically abused. As a matter of fact, she did not have a left eye. Rick took care of her car and made it possible for an eye to be implanted in her face. Wherever we would go, Rick would always find people of "less stature" and say "Hi" to them and engage them in conversation. One evening at a grocery store, we were there to buy a few items and he bought a coke. I wondered what that was for, but as we were leaving the store, he handed it to the security guard and said "I thought you might be thirsty." That kind of thing happened all the time.
Rick passed away earlier this summer. He was 42. Oh how much our family misses him. How his wife and little daughter miss him. Rick was a board member of the Kessler Park United Methodist Church School Board. His friends liked to sit by him at the meetings because he was a fun person who was the master of the one liner. Often, he would sing at gatherings and captivate his audience with his voice and his sense of humor.
Rick was not in this world to be served, but to serve. He had a dynamic personality and would always light up a room. At his funeral, the church was packed with standing room only. The testimonies from people whose life he helped to be better was overwhelming. I had no idea of his influence in Dallas.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Dallas Morning News had 142 comments in his guest book that accompanied his obituary.
I have had over $7800 given to the A.S.K. Kindergarten College Scholarship fund in his name. What a testimony of great serving leadership. I love you Rick, wish you were still with us. Christmas at the Smith household will be a little dimmer this year, but heaven will be a great deal brighter. Sue, Jamie, Holly and I are sad in one way, but happy for you that you are with Jesus. That is always a good thing.