Thursday, October 15, 2009

In memory of a kindness hero

It seems like there are an awful lot of 'takers' out there. People who would suck you dry if you let them. We live in a society, here in the U.S., of people who expect things...who want things handed to them...who feel entitled for one reason or another.

Sometimes it gets discouraging.

But if you look around, you also see folks out there who are willing to give you the shirt off their back if you need it. Everywhere you look, actually, you can pick up on random acts of kindness offered to family, friends and strangers alike. Organizations such as The Kindness Cure, founded by CJ Scarlet, exist to foster kindness in a world that too often is harsh and unyielding. Just reading some of the stories on their website ( is inspiring and uplifting.

I believe acts of kindness are acts of heroism and awards should be given out to honor those heroes.

I'd like to start the process by honoring a couple who went beyond the call of duty back when my second husband and I got married. Since we were blending families with four girls, a honeymoon was not an option. However, a couple at our church insisted we get away for at least a weekend and volunteered to take in and care for my daughters so we could do just that. The remarkable thing about this was that they already had a whole slew of young children occupying their very small home. At that point there were seven or eight people living there, but my girls just squeezed in beside them. The Moffats opened their home and their hearts to us...a new family trying to navigate the very stormy waters of becoming a blended family.

I just learned tonight that Mike Moffat died on August 5th of this year. We missed the funeral. We missed sending our condolences. And we missed what so many of us miss everyday...the opportunity to tell someone they've made a difference in your life. Mike was a good man, a godly man, a man who loved and cared for his wife and seven children. Mary Jane was forced into joining the club none of us wants to join -- The Widow's Club. She's been thrust into single parenthood...not something she ever dreamed of as she and Mike continued to add to their family. They started with two, and then added seven children, one by one, until there were nine in the family. And now there's eight.

My heart breaks for them tonight, as I remember, all too well, the weight of widowhood and single parenting. I remember the questions that churned just below the surface that were never stilled by an answer. Jesus told the storm to be still and the winds stopped. But in the face of this kind of loss, Jesus often seems to be silent, as if calming these storms would somehow throw the earth off its axis.

Tonight I offer a prayer for comfort for the Moffat family and a sacrifice of praise for these heroes in my life. Acts of kindness...they practiced them daily. Thank you Mike....thank you Mary Jane...the way you made us feel will always be remembered.

Parents...grandparents...spouses...children: Listen up as I once again remind you LIFE IS SHORT. Treasure those around you.

Hold these words, by Maya Angelou, close to your heart:

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."


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