Greatest Man I Never Knew

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Matthew 20:28 “…even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

There was a song recorded by Reba McEntire called “The Greatest Man I Never Knew”. When I first heard this song, I thought no doubt it could have been written about many dads and their children.

This is a little early for Father’s Day, but this writing is dedicated to my husband’s dad and mine. I thought it was time I wrote a little piece about them and how much they were loved.

These two men, Pat’s dad, Dr. Thomas Hayes, and my dad, Paul Horn, couldn’t have been more different, both were great men all the same.

Dr. Hayes, a family physician for many years and a man I never met, however, I felt like I knew him from the stories I’d hear from his family and some of his patients that I ran into while I worked part-time at a local nursing home. He must have delivered thousands of babies.The women just loved him and said he was the nicest man and helped them so much through their pregnancies. 

One lady who I remember named Ethel said this about Dr. Hayes: “Dr. Hayes delivered every one of my nine children. If my husband and I were short on funds, he’d just say, ‘oh, just bake me one of your famous pies and we’ll call it even!’ ”. These days, can you imagine a doctor saying that?!! That’s why I think he was great.

Paul Horn, my dad, was the greatest in my book because of his mild manner and great sense of humor. He didn’t get angry too much, but when he did…watch out!

My mom, being the disciplinarian of the family, would upset me many times. I’d mention it to my dad as being unfair and he’d say, “well, you know how your mother is.” He knew she could be difficult but stayed calm as much as possible with her through their years together.

I always thought my dad would live to be 100 because he was so thin and wiry. However, he had a fatal stroke at the age of 83. I remember telling him I loved him, and I don’t remember if he said anything back or not. But I knew he loved all his kids. I miss him every day!

Here are the complete lyrics to the wonderful song that I’m sure many of us can identify with.

The greatest man I never knew
Lived just down the hall
And every day we said, "Hello"
But never touched at all
He was in his paper
I was in my room
How was I to know he thought I hung the moon?

The greatest man I never knew
Came home late every night
He never had too much to say
Too much was on his mind
I never really knew him
Oh, and now it seems so sad
Everything he gave to us, took all he had

Then the days turned into years
And the memories to black and white
He grew cold like an old winter wind
Blowing across my life

The greatest words I never heard
I guess I'll never hear
The man I thought could never die
Has been dead almost a year

Oh, he was good at business
But there was business left to do
He never said he loved me
Guess he thought I knew

In history and in my life, there is a “greatest man I never knew”, physically, and that is Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I desire to know Him from the bible. He is the Greatest and gave His life as a ransom for many.

I know both these dads knew Jesus as their Savior. And, because of the trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we will see our dads again someday. What a wonderful reunion that will be!



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