I met Rob Vaughn back in 2009. He came into my office with a mutual friend to ask if I would get involved with a group of international students from Saudi Arabia for a soccer tournament he was starting.
I knew nothing about soccer. I knew less abut Saudi Arabia. But for some reason I chose to take the leap and become a part of this rag tag team of young men from a local English Language School and see what it was all about.
Any time I think about my involvement over the years with international communities I have to think of Rob. He’s actually one of the two people who introduced me to this wonderful world.
We started meeting on a regular basis and our friendship blossomed into a deep and trusting relationship where anything could be discussed and judgement never showed it’s ugly head.
As people working inside the machine called Christian Ministry it is difficult to find people to bounce off thoughts of doubt or confusion with traditions. For me, Rob was one such individual.
He would and still disagrees with me often on my particular brand of Christianity and struggles to see how I can arrive at some of the conclusions I now have. I love this so much about Rob. I have said for years that the best group of people for me to be around are those who do not think and believe as I do. It keeps me honest. It helps me to know that I am not just following a pack or drinking the proverbial kool-aid. I can find myself in a conversation with Rob and know that we disagree on a matter near 100% and believe at the same time his love and admiration for me remains in tact.
I also love that when Rob is in a setting with people from many cultures he effortlessly walks through a room or navigates a conversation in the most respectful of ways. He comes by it honestly and I see him as having this ability in ways I have never experienced.
I’ve watched him settle disputes on the field during soccer matches with a stern yet grace filled approach and marvel at his ability to keep his cool even when someone is saying something hurtful or inappropriate.
All that said, what I love most about Rob is his love for his wife and children. I see Rob’s love for his wife in his eyes as he mentions her name. I watch the pride of a dad light up cross his face when he mentions either of his young boys. He is a family man who takes that title with a great sense of honor and duty.
This process of taking a person a day for an entire year and publicly sharing my love for them has been a great exercise. In the midst of all the anti-social behavior found on social media it is a beautiful way to spend my time in thought each day for whom I will write about come evening. Today #thisiscrazylove2016 goes to Rob Vaughn. Thank you Rob for your friendship.