Making Ron -- A Tribute

Last Saturday my husband and I attended a memorial service honoring Ron Shick, one of the finest men we've ever known. As I reflected over his life and his impact on ours, I asked the Lord to give me the words to somehow describe all that Ron was. This is what He gave me.

Making Ron

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139: 13-16). 

“For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). 

The God of Heaven and Earth thought a moment. More than a moment, really. 

“You’re thinking awfully hard,” God the Son said to God the Father. 

“This is an important assignment,” God said. “I want to get it just right.” 

“Why don’t you tell us about it?” Jesus said. “Then the Spirit and I can help you.” 

“Well,” said God the Father, “It’s not a very long assignment – not quite 68 years – most want longer. The work is hard. There’s little recognition. No applause. A lot of manual labor – and you know how hard it is to find skilled craftsmen these days.” 

 “And the people he’ll be working with – some are poor – really poor. Others are deceived, and they don’t even know it. Still others are weary, disillusioned, or confused. Some of ‘em, I have to admit, are just plain hard-headed. It’s going to be discouraging sometimes. 

“The pay is nominal – enough to live on, but that’s about it. This guy will never drive a fancy car or live in a big house. But the assignment does have a really good retirement plan – heavenly, you could say. 

“I think we can do it,” Jesus said, and the Spirit nodded. 

“OK then,” God the Father said. “Let’s go for it.” 

“He’s got to be big,” Jesus said. “Big enough to put a roof on a church or reach tall stuff without a stool.” 

“But he’s got to be quiet and soft-spoken,” the Holy Spirit said, “because sometimes big people are scary, and we can’t have him frightening people away.” 

“Oh, don’t worry,” Jesus said, “I’ve already thought about that. I’ve designed the biggest, widest smile for his face. And bright blue eyes, and ears that stick out just a little. No way anyone would be frightened by this guy.” 

“Let’s give him big strong hands, too,” God the Father said, “big enough to swing a hammer or fix a machine – but gentle enough to hold children and grandchildren.” 

“We’re gonna give him kids and grandkids? Five boys and a girl? We’d better make him awfully patient. No, he needs more than patience – let’s make him long-suffering.” 

“What about his heart?” Jesus said. “You know what he’ll be doing. Loving the least of these. Serving those who might not appreciate him. Staying faithful to his wife, his family, and his calling.” 

“Better make that big too,” God said. “Really big.” 

“Back to the hand thing,” the Holy Spirit said. “With all he’s going to do, I don’t think two hands will be enough.” 

They thought a moment, then decided that since they were God, they could break a rule or two if needed. 

“Two right hands?” God said. 

“Two right hands.” 

“Well the second right hand can’t hang from the end of his arm,” God said. “That would be too weird. Then we’re back to scary again. Let’s make it look different. And not necessarily attached to his body. Let’s fix it so that it comes alongside him whenever he needs it. Supports him. And knows just what to do to help. He’ll be able to do so much more with this right hand than he ever could by himself. He’s gonna love it.” 

“Great idea,” Jesus said. “What’ll we call it?” 

“Let’s call it Linnea,” the Holy Spirit said. And all the Godhead agreed. 

“We haven’t talked about the most important thing,” God said. “What about his soul?” 

“Remember those children I mentioned?” the Holy Spirit said. “I’m going to use one of them to help him understand the Father heart of God. I’ll use the other to help him realize how much he needs us in his life. It’s going to look scary for a short time, ‘cause the little fella’s going to get sick, but it won’t take the man long to surrender his life to Jesus. Once he does, he’ll never stop telling everyone about it. 

“You’re going to use a little baby to bring someone to Christ?” God said. “Well, it seems appropriate. After all, you’re the one who said, ‘. . . and a little child shall lead them.’” 

“Good point. I love it when you remind me of my Words.” 

“Now, where are we gonna send this guy?” the Holy Spirit asked. “Washington? Atlanta? Dallas?” 


“Ridgway? As in Pennsylvania? That’s in the middle of nowhere.” 

“Yup, that’s my plan. He’ll grow up on a farm and serve in the army. That’ll make him humble. Then he’ll come back home and start his family. Once he commits his life to Christ, I’ll send him to Haiti.” 



“It’s a good thing you gave him a big heart,” the Holy Spirit said. “And a strong back. And a humble spirit. You know, not many people want to go to Haiti. And if they go, they seldom go back. How long are you going to use him there?” 

“For decades.” 

“Decades? Wow.” 

“Anything else?” 

“Yup. In between taking a wife, raising a family, working a full time job, and ministering in Haiti, he’s also going to help in church – four or five churches, actually. Youth pastor, lay leader, Sunday school teacher, deacon . . . “ 

“Is that all?”

“Nope.” “Good heavens. What else?” 

David and me with Linnea, Ron, and their first grandchild
“We’re gonna make him the best friend a person can have. Sacrificial, loyal, generous, and fun.” 

“That’s a tall order, but I think we can do it. When do we get started?” 

And that’s what God did. 

On September 5, 1949, Ron Shick was born. Loving husband and father, devoted grandfather, World Team missionary, tool and die maker, lay leader, Bible study teacher, and friend to everyone he met. 

On July 30, 2017, he completed his assignment. Every bit of it. 

And "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!’”

We love you, Ron. Until we meet again . . . 

To read more about Ron Shick, CLICK HERE.

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  1. WOnderful, wonderful tribute to an amazing man with an amazing life. We know he will be missed by many, many people, as he was loved by them. We knew Ron and Linnea while we were missionaries in Haiti. We lived at Hopital Lumiere for 4 years and had the privilege of working with them when the ACC containers came in and also during social and church times at Cite Lumiere. Blessings to the entire family and love to Linnea as they go through this difficult time. Steve and Joline Moore

    1. Then you know full well what a loss we've all experienced. Because you worked with him, you know what a very special man he was. God gets all the glory. May God comfort you as he comforts us, until we meet again . . . Thanks so much for reaching out, Robin.

  2. I graduated from high school with Ron fifty years ago. He was a humble servant even then. While it's always sad to lose a saint, the joy of his arrival home is immeasurable. Love ya, Ron!

  3. Then I extend my most sincere condolences to you, too, Dave. Only Heaven knows how many people God touched through Ron, but I know it was many more than we can ever imagine. Thanks for sharing today.

  4. What a lovely tribute Lori. Sounds like Ron was a very special man.