There are people that I have met throughout my life that are to the world ordinary people but to me, they live extraordinary lives.
In the next few blog posts I want to take time and this space to talk about those lives that have impacted my life and many others. The individuals go unnoticed but they never let popularity or fame drive them to do good around them. What made them find good in others and/or return goodness was the love and passion they had for humanity. It wasn't through just words but also their actions that spoke louder. And the following is a story of a man who's faith was as big as his heart.
My first memory is when I was kid and my family and I would go to the house of an elderly couple and we would watch a baseball game. They were the closest thing to grandparents, since my grandparents lived far away. This couple knew me since I was a baby. I loved going to their house because Ramona, the wife, had the best sweet tea I've ever had! And cookies. It was a delight to see Ramiro, the husband, add his commentary about the game. Between my dad and him I learned everything I know about baseball. The best part was listening to them talk. Ramiro had lived many years, many experiences. With a lifetime and experiences come stories and lessons learned. He always took time to tell me personally many life lessons that I will never forget.
Every time we got ready to leave he would shake my hand, hold it, and say "Sarai, one of the commandments in the Bible that comes with a promise - a blessing - is to honor your parents. As long as you live if you obey your parents you will receive blessings from above. It doesn't say IF they deserve honor and obedience, it simply says do it. Never forget that." It was not the first or the last time I heard that. In later years, I knew why he kept repeating that.
Not only I was impacted by his life but my family and the people around. Even the strangers he came in contact with. There was not even one soul that he didn't stop to talk to. Even if he was busy or in a hurry, it seemed like he wasn't. He would stop. Say hello. Introduce himself. And talk about God and life. People would listen to him. There was a light and a smile that would lighten up everyone's day. You could see it through his eyes. It was life. Life and love and happiness that would widen up his eyes with excitement.
When I face a hard time, I remember Ramiro. His faith was extraordinary. He never won an award or recognition for all his hard work, for the many churches he began, (he was a pastor), for all the lives he impacted. He was an ordinary man that lived an extraordinary life. His faith was so big. He shared with us that one day his wife told him that they didn't have money for food. They were driving home after preaching on a Sunday at a church. He stopped the car and he saw before them big trees with big trunks, so big that it would take many people to hug the tree all around. He looked at his wife and said, "The God that made those trees is the God that I preach, and if He doesn't find a way to provide I'll stop preaching." The next day, there was a knock on the door and someone came in, and said "Brother Ramiro, don't get up, it's me "so and so", I received some money and I only need a few bucks, I came to give you the rest". The man left the money and left. Incredible! It was enough money to buy groceries for the next 3 months!
My dad asked him, "where you really serious about not preaching anymore if he didn't provide?" He took a second and smiled. He replied, "I was, but I was also sure that He WOULD provide like He had since the day He saved me."
Wow. To have that certainty and faith, unmoving faith, when there is no hope. A faith that when seeing trouble and the need in front of him, he decides to believe.
Yet again, that is faith, to believe when you can not see.
In the last years of Ramiro, he showed an even stronger faith, that even I couldn't believe it could exist. "I'm going home", he told my dad. I was next to his bed months before we got the news and I saw his faith through his eyes. There was no fear what so ever. It was like he could see it, his home to be. It left me speechless and in tears.
He is missed by his family and friends. I still have dreams of him and recall the memories together, but overall I share and remember those words he spoke to me every time he saw me. Those words were one of the reasons I am the person I am today.
Ramiro Hernandez might have not been known by the entire world, but one thing that a few famous or popular people might not be able to do in Ramiro's lifetime, is have an impact on every single person that they come across with.
"Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it."