This is a blurry picture of a very elusive figure from my hometown (at left). You won't see his face in many pictures because he doesn't like having it taken, but this picture is a pretty good summary of who he is through and through: a servant. He will always be found hard at work helping someone or some cause out (here he's helping build a Christmas float for a parade), but shies away whenever someone wants to commend him. He's a selfless person if I ever met one. He refereed hockey for me throughout my childhood even though he could barely skate - because nobody else would get up at 4:30 on a Saturday morning. Growing older, he was an example for me of subtle servant leadership, and he often got burned by those whose service was more pronounced. He was not in the popular crowd to say the least, and on many occasions he was flat out ignored by a certain church pastor who was more concerned with relating to the refined folk than to the common folk (and unabashedly common folk he was!). Still, despite all this he continued (and continues) to serve others. He'll be the first to tell you he's the farthest thing from being perfect, but will also be the first to get his hands dirty, the first to call if you're hurt, the first to shovel your snow if you're unable, and the first to pray for you when you're in need.
Today is my birthday, and for about the last 17 years Dave Simons has called me to wish me a happy birthday on this day. I think it is the best part about getting older. Today I am a quarter century man, and much of who I am is shaped by Dave's example.