2013 has been a really special year. I turned 30, found out I was going to be a babydaddy, later discovered I was having twins, and I finally got to see the Rolling Stones in concert. Most importantly, I got a bunch of new Jordans.
Oh, and I met this incredible dude named Ron.
You may recognize him:
That video has gotten more than 4,000 hits on YouTube. That sort of scares me.
In addition to his beautiful “falsetto” T-Swift voice, I love that Ron wears boots every single day. If you try to put Ron in a box, he will use those boots to break those walls down. He loves Jesus, but he also loves tattoos. He rocks out to heavy metal music, but never misses an episode of “Gossip Girl.” Ron is a tough military guy, but he spends more time fixing his hair than any other guy. Ever.
Ron is also a veteran. While movies and video games are the closest most of us will get to experiencing the horrors of war, Ron has witnessed it up close and personal. He’s lost friends. He’s also struggled with depression, drugs, and divorce. Less than a year ago, he tried to take his own life.
Now’s he the lead guitarist at Capital City Church’s new Kingstown site and one of my best friends. Sadly, he’s leaving DC for music school in a few months. Although I’ve only known Ron since April, he’s already meant so much to me. We have a pretty sweet bromance and I will miss him. A lot. Ron has seen the best of life, but he’s also seen the transforming power of redemption, hope, and change. When I have doubts about my own faith, Ron’s story reminds me why I believe.
He’s hilarious, he’s energetic, and he’s a perfectionist. Both with his hair and his guitar game. Ron makes everyone around him better. In fact, he makes the entire world better. Although I didn’t have a chance to interview all seven billion people on Earth, here’s what a random sample of eight really smart people had to say about Ron:
Eileen (@eileenwild): “What I appreciate about Ron is that he does life with his heart ‘all in.’ Whether it is meetings, music, or friendships, nothing is done halfway or without his contagious joy. This one thing is for sure: when Ron walks into a room, everything just got better.”
Gio (@gio32r): “Ron is a perfect example of God’s love. His heart came in a box full of gift and talents. His heart is big and willing to serve. Mi amigo Ron eres el mejor. You are the best, my friend.”
Hannah (@lovehannxoxo): “Ron is the coolest. He is not only literally a rockstar, but he also has an incredible heart to see people connect to God and is willing to do just about anything to see that happen. On top of that, he’s fun, can sing Taylor Swift (and everything else!), and can save your life if you’re choking or fall off of a curb.” (Ron is also an EMT. And Hannah is kind of clumsy.)
Jeff (@jefforzo): “Ron is very inspirational in his tendency to dive in headfirst when he’s involved in something. He puts himself in places where God can activate his passion and creativity, and it’s awesome to witness.”
Ben (@benevans01): “Ron’s a hero because he’s not just one person. He’s a talented musician, God-loving citizen who cares for everyone. He’s also a friend who will do anything for the ones he loves and calls friends. Doing those things aren’t easy in today’s negative-minded society, but that’s why he’s a hero!”
Alicia (@aliciaorzo): “Ron is an encourager. He is always working to get people excited and he is the first to “like” everything! He brings the mood wherever he is!”
Ashley (@ashmichelley): “Ron keeps me in stitches. And when I’m not laughing at/with him, I’m just feeling honored to call him a friend. He’s a true worshiper who has a great head on his shoulders!”
Amanda (@ajmccormick1): “He’s cool.”
Ron has survived life’s toughest and darkest challenges. When I see Ron singing and playing guitar, I’m reminded that life is a miraculous and precious gift. It is also remarkable to watch Ron play guitar and see someone doing exactly what they were born to do.
If you want to learn more about Ron, his guitar game, or his sweet hair, you should follow him on Instagram at @imronmillward. Seriously. Do it.