Community Builders: Tim Harder


1 A Man Of Faith And Integrity Pic
Tim Harder Rosie Harder

We grew up in the same community, yet I didn’t really establish a friendship with Tim until the last ten years of his life. I was aware of Tim at a distance and had known of some of the challenges he had experienced in his teenage and early adult years. What I well remember from even way back was that he was pretty straight about things. His life was lived pretty much with two colors: black and white, and the shade of grey was rarely to be found.

I came to know Tim around the time when I was emerging from a dark hole which had lasted for the better part of ten years. He, too, had faced some dark years and had moved beyond those difficulties by making some choices that brought about a great change in his life. First among those choices was the invitation into his life of a Higher Power. In his case, that meant having an encounter with Jesus. The Jesus he met was the one we read about in the Gospels, the Jesus who came to invade this world to reveal and release his Father’s incredible love for people. 

The black-and-white part of Tim’s worldview wasn’t related to how he saw people. By the evidence of his life, he was a man of true faith. To those who needed a helping hand, Tim was that guy. He always had time for those who were broken, experiencing challenges in life, or simply wanted to talk. And he wasn’t about judging people.

Never will I forget the times when I heard Tim share on Sunday mornings at Maranatha. He would step up to the mike and talk about having encounters with people that left an impact. His outward demeanor looked gruff, and he could appear tough, but the heart of this man was so soft when encountering the brokenness of the world he lived in. 

I want to mention another word that describes the Tim I came to know: integrity. I have been fortunate to have worked with Linda and Tim in various real estate transactions. One such transaction involved a property that had experienced a significant structural failure. Tim and Linda had purchased the property, made repairs, and some years later decided to sell it. Tim agreed that full disclose was important, and he actually suggested that any buyer should obtain a building inspection as a condition of sale.

Tim’s interactions with his family were always deep and genuine. He loved from deep within his heart, yet he wasn’t the typical warm, fuzzy, or huggy guy. He wasn’t necessarily comfortable with those expressions of love. When I would occasionally reach out to give him a hug, he would say, “Do we have to do this?”

Tim didn’t live his faith in the comfort of a church building. Those who knew him were aware that he didn’t much enjoy reading or sitting in services. That wasn’t his cup of tea. However, he had encountered Jesus and it had changed his life.

My life, and many others in our community, has been enriched by knowing Tim. The community will miss the kindness he showed and the care he demonstrated among us. As we celebrate his life, we do so knowing that in the summation of all things, the following realities are meaningful to us: “You are not far away, and we will meet again.”

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