A Villain and A Hero
Today the heart of everyone who has a heart is broken by the horrible news of the school shootings in Connecticut, which killed twenty little children, who were first graders. Yesterday they were delightful six and seven year-olds, excited about Christmas. Tonight they are dead. Tonight they are mourned. Tonight they are remembered by those who knew them.
A normal person cannot comprehend what caused the killer to take the lives of so many innocents. He was deranged. What he did was evil.
On the same day that I heard of the evil performed by this villain, I met a hero.
My wife and I had lunch at the new Noodles restaurant in Fort Collins, Colorado. I am glad we did.
This is not a restaurant review. It is a story to inspire.
While Sugar and I were eating, a pleasant thirty-something man wearing a uniform identifying him as a Noodles employee asked us how we liked our meals and whether we needed anything else. We complimented him on the food and the restaurant so he proudly told us that the food is fresh and they do not use microwave ovens or freezers. He went on to say that he had managed a Noodles restaurant in another state for several years but recently moved to Colorado.
Sugar asked if he had moved here in order to manage this restaurant. He responded, “Oh, no. I moved here to take care of my Dad, who has cancer. I just applied for a part-time job because I like the company. I am not the manager. I am just a shift manager.”
So we asked about his father and learned he has pancreatic cancer. His nice son had come to Fort Collins to stay with him and help him. This devoted son has had experience caring for other cancer patients in his family. Sugar praised him for his kindness. Then he whispered, “I have held loved ones as they died. It was important to be there. I want to be there for my father.”
Then he told us something that would not have normally come up in a conversation between customers and staff at a fast food place. He told us, “Last year my wife passed away. She too had cancer. After she died, I sold everything and came here to be with my Dad. I have learned a lot about caring for for cancer patients. It is a way to show my love.”
It is indeed. It is a tangible, sacrificial, and heroic way to show love.