I was mentally pinching myself. Seated around the dinner table were my team-mates and Howard and Jeanne Hendricks. He had been a conference speaker for our organization many times. He was notoriously funny and to the point. The consummate teacher, he could turn a phrase into a long term memory.
What an amazing evening! As we feasted on barbecue, they shared many of their stories and their wisdom. We laughed; we cried. We asked questions- tons of questions. They were so gracious to invest the time with us.
What impressed me the most was Dr. Hendricks’ deliberate invitation to draw Jeanne into the conversation. One of us would ask him a question, and he would look across the table at Jeanne and say, “Jeanne can tell you more about that than I can.” While he could have regaled us with many stories of his own, he chose to make it about them, not just about him. And she did the same as the evening went on. They were a team, and it showed!
One thing they shared with us was an intentional practice of regular communication and evaluation. They made this kind of time for each other: 15 minutes a day, an hour (maybe an evening?) a week, a day a month, a weekend a quarter, and a week a year. I might have those wrong, but that’s kind of how I remember it. Just the two of them looking at how they were doing and how to make life better, more intentional. They were committed to one another and their growth as followers of Jesus.
As I think back on that evening, I realize that I witnessed the fruit of that practice that evening. The love, respect, and deference shown to each other, the easy humor, the down to earth hospitality- it all worked because they worked. They tell their own story of communication, commitment, and conflict resolution in this six minute video clip.
Thank you, Dr. and Mrs. Hendricks, for loving each other well. Of all the things I remember about Dr. Hendricks, that is my most precious takeaway…
He lived what he taught.
You can see their full story at Day of Discovery. It is worth watching
Any other memorable Dr. Hendricks moments? Who has served as a model to you, and in what ways?