This is my friend Alan. Here is a friend that I admire a great deal. What makes him so special, you may ask. Let me tell you.
First of all, Alan has a personality that is just quirky enough to be funny, yet he has a seriousness about him that makes admiration easy.
Alan is a graduate engineer, and served as an engineer for a local manufacturer here in town until they closed their doors. He was offered other engineering jobs away from here, but he chose to remain in town, going into business for himself as a "Handy Man." He has become very successful at his work, and has recently bought out the local retiring locksmith and has taken over that business, too.
I marvel every time I am around Alan as to how intelligent he is. I haven't found anything he can't do, and he will tackle almost anything.
But, what makes him special to me is his quietness. I have never seen him mad, nor even close to being angry. He seems to take things in stride, with an attitude of anticipation. He is soft spoken witty and funny. He is a Christian who works hard in and for his church. He has led many youth to Christ and has sponsored them on their Chrystalis walk. He and his wife have raised two sons, and have 3 grandchildren.
Whenever we need something made for the choir, scenery,etc. Alan is our go-to person. He always has a good idea and is creative enough to make it happen. He is a marvel at figuring out our complicated sound system and even when it isn't working properly, can make it function.
I sing with Alan in my men's quartet and in the church choir. He has a soft baritone voice that blends well, and he reads music and can play the piano.
Alan has been married to the same gal for a long time. She suffers from MS, and Alan is extremely loving and caring with her. Her disease hasn't progressed too rapidly, but I know that as it does, he will be there for her every step of the way.
A few years ago at our Maundy Thursday service, Alan played the part of Christ during a reinactment of the Last Supper. He was dressed all in white, with long hair and his beard. It was actually like having Jesus right there in the room with us. He spoke so softly and tenderly, my adult daughter was moved to tears, as were many in the congregation.
As years pass, I count myself lucky to have such a friend. I have lots of friends and they are all special. But Alan, well he is just one of a kind, and I consider it a privilege to know him and call him my friend.