Please pardon this interruption of the football blog but, at a time when the nation seems to be completely overrun by anger and hatred, I feel compelled to share with you all a wonderful story of a true Christmas Miracle. While we read about tragic, senseless deaths that are resulting in even more tragic and senseless deaths, I’d like to tell you a story about a couple who have chosen life. They’ve chosen to breathe a life into someone who is much less fortunate than the rest of us…
Earlier this summer, my wife and I were on our way back from a trip when we happened to share a cab with a sweet family from South Carolina. We struck up a conversation with Brent and Claire and, as with most of my conversations, Brent and I quickly found a common ground by talking football – specifically, Clemson football – and after two or three hours we’d become fast friends. Brent reached out to me via Facebook and suddenly a two or three-hour conversation turned into a great little Facebook friendship.
About two weeks ago, I saw a post from him saying that he and Claire decided that they weren’t going to celebrate Christmas this year. I was intrigued so I clicked the “more” button and what I found was that this couple was doing far more for a human being than most anyone else I’ve ever heard of. Brent and Claire were providing a true to life Christmas miracle.
A 58-year-old homeless person named Tony had spent the last year living in a shed behind Claire’s business partner’s office. He’d actually been homeless for over three years until the business partner suggested that Tony take refuge in the shed to get out of the weather. Unlike the typical homeless people that you see with their hands out at busy intersections, Tony’s only request was to simply ask for work. Even at his age, the former Navy veteran still had a valuable carpentry skill set and the drive to put forth an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay but, of course, not many people were willing to take a chance that a homeless person could have any real value. That is, until Brent and Claire happened along…
Brent owns a condo that had been a home to some exceptionally bad tenants. These folks left behind a hurricane’s worth of damage but Brent found a way to turn his bad fortune into someone else’s good fortune – and that person is Tony.
Brent and Claire decided to pack up Tony’s belongings, which were little more than a knapsack, and they moved Tony into their condo where he now works to repair the damages in return for food and free rent. In my eyes, it’s an amazing act of kindness and one I would have never considered! But, here is a couple who decided that instead of spending money on gifts for Christmas, they’d invest in the greatest gift they could provide someone – hope.
After Brent posted this amazing story on Facebook, there has been an outpouring of love and support from many, many different places. Offerings of food, clothing, bedding and an array of other items have been coming in from friends, family and people they don’t even know. In a time when the world seems so full of violence, hatred and anger, it’s heartwarming to come across a story that renews your faith in your fellow-man. When I asked recently about what Tony needs now, Brent simply said, “encouragement.”
So, as you enjoy this Christmas time with your friends and your families, I’d encourage you to remember this story and give an act of kindness whenever and wherever you see fit. Whether it’s a donation to a Salvation Army bell-ringer or giving the gift of food to someone less fortunate, maybe if we can collectively give an outpouring of good deeds we can make a little difference in this world – especially at a time when we all could use an uplifting story this holiday season.
Update: Here is the news story (click here) about this wonderful act of giving. After this clip ran, Tony was offered a job!!!! What a tremendous Christmas story!
The Lighthouse staff would like to take this time to wish you and your loved ones happy holidays and a very Merry Christmas!