The Remarkable Kenneth Wood

Do everything in a quiet and calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.

Francis de Sales

I watched my neighbor Kenneth from my kitchen window with great interest. He lived across the alley from us and he was walking out to his pickup using his walker. He came down the steps, crossed the lawn, went out the gate and got into the truck. I wondered what Kenneth could possibly be up to, and then it happened: He started up his pickup truck!

"Big deal!" you might be thinking, and you would be right - it was a very big deal. You see, Kenneth Wood, my 80+ year old, neighbor was blind!

I have to admit that Kenneth, in addition to being a very good friend, was very good for me. He always seemed to be an island of calm in a tempestuous sea. I would go over for coffee every Monday and Thursday at 10:00 A.M. No matter how busy or stressed I was, it was always good to just go over and just visit. I would read the paper to him, or pay his bills, or just sit and talk. And the cares of the world would just seem to go away for a while.

There is something very calming about a blind man. Maybe it's because their lives are slow by necessity, maybe it's because they have learned to accept the things they cannot change. I don't know for sure, having never been blind or calm, but I do know this. Kenneth Wood, confined to a wheelchair, wearing a hearing aid, and living in a dark world, was probably the calmest man I have ever known. In fact, Kenneth Wood was simply a remarkable man. 

Kenneth has been gone for nearly a dozen years now. Yet to this day, whenever things get too hectic or out of control, I can think of Kenneth and enjoy an indescribable peace at the memory of his calming influence. Do you have any friends like that? 

Say to him, "Be careful, keep calm and do not be afraid. Isaiah 7:4, NIV