Lost Sole #386 is dedicated to Roger Grooters whose life was taken from him while trying to do good for those in need. R.I.P.

Lost Sole #387 was is dedicated to Roger Grooters whose life was taken from him while trying to do good for those in need. This Lost Sole was found the same day he passed. R.I.P. And I bet Roger at some point in his life enjoyed a moment while sitting on this very bench.

A couple of days ago I awoke to horrible news. A 66 year old Pensacola native, Roger Grooters, had undertaken a 3200 mile journey traversing the United States on his bike to help raise awareness and money for victims of the BP oil spill. He had made it all the way from Oceanside California to Panama City and was only hours from completing the journey when he was struck by a truck and killed outside of Panama City, Florida. Grooters’ wife, Vicki, had been following him the whole way in her SUV and was with him when he was killed. My heart goes out to her. It is hard to even think about the pain she must be enduring.

Roger Grooters had kept a blog to document his journey, much like we did and since his death it has been flooded by people wanting to hear about his adventures. I guess that is what made this story hit home as he was a fellow traveler from Pensacola and experienced many of the same things we did as we trekked across the U.S., I’m sure he saw many of the same places and maybe even met some of the same people.

Plus after looking at his picture, I KNOW we have crossed paths. I don’t know how yet, but I am sure we have met, perhaps several times. At some point my memory will reveal it to me I hope. Maybe it was tennis. When I figure it out, I’ll post it.

Another connection is that he was a member of a congregation that we have thought about joining that gather on Sunday’s out at the beach at Flounder’s Restaurant to hold church service. I always thought that what better place to find God than out there in the open air. Jack Kale, the pastor for the church, had this to say about Grooters.

This was a photo taken from his blog..."Today we finished packing and said goodbye to some of our family. Jon, Marcie, Kol, Agi, Maya and Christian joined us for a pasta (carbo loading) dinner.  We went to the beach by our condo in Oceanside, CA and dipped the rear wheel in the Pacific, next time the Atlantic." title=

This was a photo taken from his blog...'Today we finished packing and said goodbye to some of our family. Jon, Marcie, Kol, Agi, Maya and Christian joined us for a pasta (carbo loading) dinner. We went to the beach by our condo in Oceanside, CA and dipped the rear wheel in the Pacific, next time the Atlantic.'

“Roger had the Gulf in his heart,” Kale said. “He worshipped here where instead of stained glass and pews we see dolphins jumping and surf rolling.”

Here is something Roger wrote in his blog that is now really poetic in a sense.

“As always we start each day with prayer for safety and strength and we end with a prayer of thanks for another successful day. We truly believe that we are not making this journey alone and every time there is a need God has answered our prayers. Thanks to all who are praying for us.”

I encourage you to take a moment out of your day and look through Roger Grooters’ blog by following this link >> It was an amazing feat that he accomplished even though technically he did not finish. But perhaps he was not meant to finish. Maybe this was God’s plan so that Roger’s message would get more attention and his story repeated and told over and over again.

It seems we keep losing the good people of this world :( But I like to think that at the same time they are passing there are good souls being born and added to this world and it is our job as parents and as a community to make sure they achieve their potential. As the lyrics from a great song by Live say…”I am the world, you are the world, We are the world.”