Ray was a lot like his rocks. On the surface, he was a little rough. He was outspoken and at times his tone could be a little gruff, but inside there was a heart of gold. Even in his manner of dress Ray was a bit unpolished. His idea of "dressing up" was a pair of Wrangler jeans, suspenders, a pocket t-shirt, and a bandana tied loosely around his neck. Not exactly sartorial splendor from the pages of "Dress for Success," but that was his style.
Ray had a heart for children. He served on the Sermons4Kids Board of Directors from its beginning and he always had the attitude that no task was too big if God was in it. He also had a heart for missions and spent money out of his own pocket to support a mission effort in Mexico. He collected toys and personally took them to Mexico to insure that the children of the mission had a Merry Christmas.
Most people, if they had passed Ray on the street, wouldn't have given him a second look. They would never have recognized that beneath that rough exterior was a heart filled with love. God saw what they did not see. He didn't see Ray for what he was, he saw him for what he could become. We should know that "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)
As a lapidary, Ray cut, formed, tumbled, and polished many very ordinary-looking rocks until they were a thing of beauty and that is what God did with Ray. "I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)
In memory of Ray Cassle.