Last Friday, God checked His scheduler and realized it was time to spruce up Heaven with some beautiful new furnishings. Especially fond as He is of carpenters, God wanted to choose a very talented one for His upcoming projects. Alas, the Lord settled upon Steve Goodwin- a family man whose hands had spent a lifetime working with wood and whose hand-hewn projects often reflected God’s Word.
As one of STA’s longtime bus drivers, Steve Goodwin was a familiar face around campus and with faculty, staff, and students. He shuttled Saints to their many practices and games, always carrying smiles and kindness in his pocket to dole out after every competition.
A few years ago, Steve noticed that the school’s popcorn machine had become very rundown. He took it home and refurbished it completely. He sought out old parts and scraps and restored it to working order all in his personal spare time. “I wanted our kids to be able to sell popcorn at their games and raise a little money,” he said when asked about the project.
To Steve, each student was part of his larger family. And to us, Steve was part of ours.
His devotion to his Christian faith was lovely in its purity. He wove Scripture verses into his many woodworking projects, always carefully considering which messages were relevant to the particular craft. Casual conversations would inevitably include a nod to God and His generosity in Steve’s life. Steve sprinkled gratitude upon everything and was quicker than quick to give God the glory in his every act. To leave Steve’s company was to leave feeling better about life, about humanity, about one’s own purpose.
At St. Thomas Aquinas High School, every member of our community identifies with “Saints Pride” in his/her own way. For some, the motto means cheering loudly at athletic competitions. For others, it means watching a student’s eyes flicker with enlightenment. For others, it means meticulously tending to the campus landscaping. For still others, it means posting happy moments on social media.
For Steve, Saints Pride was deeply commingled with mission. To drive a bus for STA students was not just about transporting kids on field trips or to events. It was his way of supporting the school’s mission to transform the lives of its students through the Light of the Gospel. He could have driven a bus for any school. At St. Thomas, he found a school whose mission aligned with his own: to honor and serve God every single day.
Have you ever walked through a parking lot and glanced at or into people’s automobiles? A quick look can reveal a lot about the driver. Bumper stickers, dangling decorations from the rear view mirror, stuffed animals lined on the dashboard. Even shopping bags and beverage containers can be good indicators of people’s habits, of their stories.
Steve Goodwin’s car had one – only one- object in his car.
Placed significantly in the rear window for every follower to see was a small board upon which was written:
May tremendous goodness and blessings accompany this faithful journeyman on his return route to the Lord. We are ever grateful for his quiet servitude to God, to our school, and to our world.
Safe travels, Good and Faithful Servant.