Friday, December 16, 2011

To Honor His Memory...His Legacy...His Family



I wanted to write something prolific, something memorable, something that would honor the memory of Kenneth Parfitt on this day.  The one year anniversary of his death.  I'm not certain I will succeed.

On December 14, 2010, Ken was on his way to work when he stopped to help another motorist who had run off the icy road.  When sure that the person was ok, Ken headed back to his car.  Just as he was getting ready to get in his vehicle and drive off to another day at the office, he was hit by another passing automobile.  Ken never again opened his eyes.  The last thing he did was something he did on a daily basis...he helped someone.  He cared for a stranger.  He was an example to his son who was with him that morning.

I have wracked my brain this week for just the right words for this anniversary.  Do we re-tell the story of that day?  For that, no one has put it into words more clearly, more tenderly than the man who stopped to help Ken that morning.  Do I list the various ways Ken and his family have been honored this past year?  That doesn't seem fitting.  Do I put into writing how I continue to grieve and pray for his family?  Impossible.

All I can think to do is ask a question.  While Ken has left a hole in his family that no one will ever be able to fill, should there still be a void in this world now that he has left it?  The tracts in Ken's pocket that morning fell on the muddy floor of the ambulance.  Have we picked them up and handed them out to the strangers we pass?  There were people who knew to call Ken when they needed help.  Do they now know that one of us is willing to help in their time of need?  A family is moving...are we willing to drop what we are doing to help them?  Ken is no longer able to do that.  A missionary has a project that is at a stand-still due to insufficient funds.  Are we writing the check Ken would have written?  A child of God has left the fold and is checking out the pleasures of this world.  Do we write their name daily in our prayer journal?  Do we have a prayer journal?  Ken did.  Who is praying for those people now?  The Bible studies that Ken led at Harris...do they still exist or are disciples struggling?

Ken is gone.  If we do not pick up where Ken left off, a missionary could be left discouraged and broken.  A single mom may get deeper in debt having to replace her old, broken-down dryer.  A wayward teenager may never know he is loved.  A soul may go to hell.

365 days ago, Ken Parfitt went to heaven.  His race on earth was done. We miss him...his smile, his sense of humor, his brilliance.  We grieve for his family.  But, have we picked up his baton or have we left it lying on the ground in our grief?  Have we filled in the gap that he left or have we left it wide open as we uselessly stand by and weep for what is lost?

Ken Parfitt made a difference in this world, but this world ought not be a different  place without him.     If we want to honor his memory, we must carry on and follow his example.  We must not allow the void to remain.

Miss Ken.  Grieve for his family...while you go and serve and give and love the stranger by the side of the road.

2 comments:

Jamie Parfitt said...

Thank you, Vickie. Why do I not cry tonight? Is it JUST because so many remember and are praying and have been praying? Or is it because I have a much more personal relationship with my Maker now, who is always with me? We speak of a personal relationship when we talk about people being saved, but it takes on all new meaning when we want to talk to the one who has died and we KNOW he can't hear or help. But God can. And as I talk to God in my loneliness, God's thoughts enter my thoughts and they tell me He loves me and will be so happy to answer my questions and guide me and the children into the next steps. I pretty much EXPECT the unexpected these days. Ken taught me to be flexible and it is a very good thing he did. We have tried to do as Vickie said, but don't let that stop YOU from doing it, too. ONE candle gives SOME light, but MANY candles drive the dark away. You are each in a corner that we never reach. I hope you all get CLOSE to God, talk to Him like a person, and ask Him, "What do you want me to do today, Lord?" He will surprise you over and over again at what he will bring across your path. Ken prayed every morning before anything else. We all need to do that, to get our marching orders and take away from the place of prayer a little of that glow, like Moses did. Ken was such an encourager. We can all do that, even if we don't ever find ourselves called to stop beside the road to help someone. Ken showed mercy. We can do that. If God is glorified in a word or deed you can do, you have fulfilled much of your purpose for that day. I'm learning to remember: the verse before "Lord, increase our faith" says to forgive seven times in a day. Mercy is a form of forgiveness. Be sure to treat others the way you like to be treated. Ken would tell me that when he would walk over and start doing the dishes. He wanted to teach by example that it is a blessing to do work that is not assigned to you and to help others if it is within your power. He was probably mainly thinking of being an example to the children. But so many times I think of that day when we discussed it. We can be an example to our spouses. You don't know which of you may be left behind someday. Be humble enough to accept instruction from your spouse and respectful enough to back up your spouse when he/she is right. Children will grow strong in the Lord in an environment like that and then they will go out and be Ken Parfitts for the Lord.

Thanks for being kind enough to write about Ken, Vickie. No one seemed to notice him when he was alive, but that is the way he would have had it. Now is the time to use his memory as one more piece of ammunition in our arsenal against the devil and sin. :-)

lovehisname said...

Amen Vickie!, what a beautiful writing! To Mrs. Parfitt, there is not a day that goes by that I did not think of you this past year. I have prayed for you several times through out the year. We are so very far away, but if I was right there, I would give ya a hug.

Ken was an outstanding man, a man that a person could look up to.