(Every hero has a hydra part 7/8 of series)
Let me tell you the tale of how great redemption comes from great desperation. In other words, how light drives out the darkness.
All the good things that we experience in life have happened over many seasons. It was early November 2011 when one of these slow and low moments showed itself to me when I was not expecting it. The scene: Our local hospital which was very old, with small rooms, narrow hallways. My grandmother, my mom’s mom – I called her Granny lay in a room nearby with family surrounding her. The doctors had told us the day before that she was in the process of passing – There was 7 of us that stayed with her for her last 36 hours.
A few hours before she passed, I received a call. It was Granny’s best friend, Lou. Lou was my Granny’s neighbor and partner in crime. Lou was not doing well at this time so she could not make it up to the hospital, but she wanted to call and provide any words of comfort, love, and concern that she could.
Lou told me a story that I had never heard before of how she and Granny met about 40 years earlier. So about 5 years before I was even born is when Lou moved to Winchester. Lou, her husband Willis and their 3-year-old daughter, moved to Winchester that summer before her job started as a school teacher. They did not know a soul in this town. Lou talked about how was lonely she was and how just longed so much for a friend.
Her desperation quickly turned into a strategy to meet people: use the cuteness of her young daughter Kim. For a few days straight, Lou said she would dress Kim up in her most beautiful dresses and take her outside, just hoping someone would stop and say hello. A few days in, Granny and my Mom slowed the car and got out to talk. This makes total sense because my Granny was a sucker for kids, especially adorable ones (Kim, I know that is what Granny would say if she were here). And as they say, the rest is history. From time forward, Granny and Lou were as thick as thieves.
At this moment, while this is a conversation is happening in another hospital room next to where my Granny is transitioning from this world to the next, it hit me, and it hit me hard. Because my grandmother stopped that day, I am where I am today. You see, Lou was the one that took me as a scared 7th grader to church. Lou was the one who held me under her wing, helped me to connect at church and allowed me to feel at home. Lou was the instrument that helped settle in at church and because of her consistency and faithfulness introduced me to Jesus.
I never knew this story. I never knew it was in a single act of desperation and then a response of kindness, that lead to so many other moments and memories shared over a few decades that lead to me walking forward one Sunday at a small country church and saying, “I am in.”
Decades of decisions and friendships set the stage for me to come to the place that I was found. After I was found, this influenced my college decision, and there I met my wife, and because of that, my 4 boys are in this world.
Light always drives out darkness.
Small acts of desperation, surrender, and participation bring light into dark places.
And my life is a living story of that truth.
For those of you, few and faithful that read this blog post, the above is an excerpt from an upcoming book I am working on. I should finish up the edits of this book in the next 10 days and then pursue how best to publish and distribute. But if you like this, there is more of it on the way!
Thanks for reading along – Kevin Parido