My eyes widen when I see her name in my inbox. Laura, a childhood friend I haven’t heard from in days adding up to years now. A couple of moves across state lines, the absence of Christmas cards years consecutive, busy lives creating a passage of silence between us.
As I read her words, the same sweetness we knew as teenage friends sitting cross- legged on the shag carpet of her bedroom remains steady today. She apologizes for the time lapse in conversation, offers updates on some news from our hometown. The place we share, but see through different lenses.
And when she tells me her Dad lives with pancreatic cancer a year now. That he handles the illness with grace, how he is weak but in good spirits, I recall this Knight in Shining Armor. The way he rescued me that day when I stood all of fifteen. And I think with a smile, that he wouldn’t tackle this challenge any other way.
I ask her for his address because I need to tell him. Send him a card to remind him how he saved my life while time remains generous.
Because if we don’t tell people how God used them to impact our lives, how will they know?
I knew him as Harry Eaton, the undertaker, my best friend’s Dad, the one who takes me to school so I don’t have to ride the bus. The man who arrives in a pick-up wearing jeans one day to move me into his house so I won’t be in danger anymore.
Because when your mother decides to move to another state, leaves you in the care of strangers who aren’t who they seem, God answers worried, heart pounding prayers of the night in the form of your best friend’s Dad. To rescue, provide a way of escape from the evil.
Harry, he wears kindness and loyalty like a necklace. His footprints of favor and reputation etch deep in the soil where he treads. Proverbs 3:3
He moves my furniture into their spare bedroom and three months later, I board a Greyhound bus to Tulsa. Move away to live with an aunt and leave that white, 1970’s bedroom furniture behind.
Twenty-two years later, before our high school reunion, I tour Laura’s house in Kansas, meet her kids. When we enter the bedroom of her twin girls, she asks me if I notice anything familiar and when I look around, there it is. My white bedroom furniture holding the memories of a time and place long forgotten .
And while time remains open-handed to Harry, I just want him to know that the way he wears kindness, well, it’s beautiful. It changes lives.
It changed mine.
Has someone made an impact on you? Have you told them lately? Send a card, it just might change someone’s life.
Linking with Ann today to count thanks. Add yours in the comment box here or on Facebook if you are joining us to count to 1000 this year.
- For the dark times, because they reveal grace.
- Kindness beyond obligation from the heart of a parent toward a child that isn’t their own.
- Longevity in friendships, the ones God created to remain deep, grow wide, even in absence.
- For the privilege of praying for many people in Houston last week, even on an elevator.
- Laughter late into the night in a hotel conference room with old and new friends.
- Worship that makes you feel like you are sitting at His feet seeing the glory.
- Safe flights.
- Sleep in my own bed.
- “I can’t wait to hug you” kind of hugs from kids at the door after a long day of travel.