If you have driven the one to two mile stretch of Highway 71 South, just North of Waldron, you may have seen a man happily waving, wearing a white robe and sharing a warm smile from the highway shoulder.
That man is Rick Franklin.
Franklin felt led to spread love, joy and inspiration. He can be seen standing, and waving at all hours of the day, including the wee hours of the morning, even when the weather’s cool. In fact, you can’t miss him.
That’s how Franklin looked when he appeared one morning as I was traveling south. My headlights illuminated his white robe, and I questioned what I had witnessed. A smile crossed my face, and I couldn’t help but think he was there with a purpose, and perfectly timed to do exactly what he felt he was called to do.
“I want people to know that God loves them.”
I feel as if he was there for me, those who went before, and followed, giving us all that reminder that we all need at this moment, maybe each day.
To those who yield their time, Franklin is eager to visit and pray with before bidding a warm farewell. Looking back, the departed may witness him “jumping for joy.”
His smile and enthusiastic demeanor is appropriately displayed as cars approach from either direction. Franklin waves at them all, and most all of them acknowledge his presence with a return favor of a honk, and a wave.
Personally speaking, I admire Franklin for putting himself out there, and sharing his faith in a manner that asks nothing, yet gives everything.