Dick and Rose DeShaw ('62)
My husband and I were called to that most difficult task – living the ordinary life, moment by moment conscious of God, asking to be shown His way and demonstrate his power as we walk with Him. While the ordinary life with God IS a career path, there is no professionalism about it, no special recognition or titles.
It’s an everyday mindset, to know that the eternal life Jesus promised is the life we live now, not something that begins after death, when we are perfect. Living today accepts that all life’s potholes and bumps are learning opportunities, gratefully received.
Stabbed in a Federal Penitentiary
One such bump was when my husband was stabbed while working in a federal penitentiary. He had completed work for his PhD, then was led to become a prison guard, the lowest rank of worker. I worked as a prison librarian on a short contract so we both knew what it was like, ‘inside.’ While his stab wound was superficial, the surrounding trauma caused him to be diagnosed with Post Trauma Stress Disorder and precipitated his departure two years before retirement. Thus began a blessed time of reading, writing, and meditation.
But our pension, already small, grew smaller yet. I had owned and operated an out of print bookshop from our home with no pension due me. During a massive ice storm, all our pipes froze and broke, our 50 year old furnace died, and I had to give up 35,000 books, my entire stock. We hadn’t paid off the mortgage on our dilapidated, never renovated, end-of-a-row house built in 1840 in a now mostly-student neighbourhood.
About then a national newspaper invited readers to send in their retirement budgets. Those chosen would be given the services of a financial planner. I knew this paper was a rich man’s read. So I sent in our little budget as a demonstration of what faith lives on. We were chosen and a picture of the two of us was on the front page. Inside, two financial planners made the best of what we’d given them after phoning separately to make certain we didn’t have some old stocks, bonds or investments we’d squirreled away and forgotten.
But we had none at all. Just faith, friends, and God.
A year later, the mother of a student moving in next door spotted my husband and I heard her say in disbelief, “I know who YOU are! You retired and you don’t have any money!”
That was ten years ago. Here we still are, walking by faith in eternity, all our needs met, bills prayerfully accumulated and paid on time, no loans or credit card debt, no worry or fret. The ordinary life in God – a special calling.
About the Author
Rose DeShaw graduated from Multnomah a year before Kennedy was shot, married her Sunday School teacher, Dick, endured Robert Kennedy’s shooting but immigrated to Canada shortly after the death of Martin Luther King where they adopted a child from the newspaper to join their two small sons. Both DeShaws publish their work variously in journals and periodicals. Rose also writes song lyrics and has worked as a documentarian for cable tv.