Thomasville Times Enterprise

February 18, 2014

Shining example conquers darkness

Randy Young

— Marty Jones was a caring, compassionate nurse at Archbold for many years. She visited Risa and I upon the births of both of our children, just to check on us.

As many of you know, last week near Valdosta, Marty was giving first aid to a man who had been injured in a car accident, Ashokkumar Patel. A semi, for whatever reason, plowed through the accident site, killing Marty and Patel.

Marty’s husband, Dana, was a witness to the entire episode.

Members of Patel’s family arrived on the scene later. They were so moved by her act of unselfishness, as well as by her husband’s unshakeable faith and devotion, that they felt compelled to come pay their respects at Marty’s visitation.

Apparently, the show of faith and solidarity by the Jones family so impressed, so overwhelmed them, three members of  Patel’s family turned their lives over to Jesus — all while at the visitation.

Yes, you read that correctly.

I am sure that Marty’s family wishes they had her back with them. How could they not? But I also know that Marty is smiling down on each and every one of them, beaming with heavenly pride at the example they provided for at least three hearts who found something they needed through them in what would have otherwise been their darkest hour.

And they can take great pride in her heroic example of what can only be described as the literal embodiment of “the good Samaritan.”

Now I don’t know about you, but I want to try to live my life in such a way that if and when I am faced with such a storm, others will be able to look at me and my example and see some kind of silver lining within the clouds that shines so brightly that they think to themselves, “I may not be totally sure what it is, but I want some of whatever it is they have in their life in mine.”

Don’t ever, ever believe for a moment that the example of faith you exude is one that others aren’t observing. Even in the darkest times, that faith can light a path others can — and will — follow.

n The Thomasville Entertainment Foundation hit a home run with this guitarist Saturday night with its “Guitar Passions” show. While I absolutely enjoyed classical virtuoso Sharon Isbin and flamenco phenom Romero Lubambo, I have to say that I was totally, 100 percent blown away by Stanley Jordan.

For those not in the know, Jordan is one of the few guitarists in the world who fluently uses both of his hands on the fret board to play. In other words, he is playing chords with his left hand and at the same time playing lead parts with his right. I have followed him the last 20 or so years, so I was thrilled to see him live right here in Thomasville.

But I never, ever expected to see him play a nearly impossible classical piano piece with one hand playing the piano then the guitar with the other, and do so flawlessly — then switch hands midstream with no effort whatsoever. He commented to the audience afterward that he simply approached both as “one instrument.”

Mind = officially blown.

n  This week’s citizens meeting continues a nice little tradition our hometown newspaper has of trying to bring people together to find answers to questions we all want and need answered. Not many places can say they have had 16 previous chances to speak up and out about issues that concern them, but this one can.

The meeting this week is designed to give folks on both sides of the political aisle a chance to meet to address issues that all of us are facing as a community. I have often said that the two political parties (at least nationally) have become so polarized to the extremes of left and right that the place I was taught the truth was normally to be found — the middle — is virtually ignored. It is in that spirit that this meeting is taking place.

But, if those who are so passionate about their particular political ideology cannot check that passion at the door, the meeting stands no chance of succeeding before it ever begins. The undermining of the “other” side and sadly predictable fanning of partisan embers has already started here on these pages from both sides.

And, to be straight honest, both sides should be ashamed of themselves.

If you want to bicker and argue and further contribute to the nauseating gridlock we see at work with our national “leaders” that will be very easy to do. Come to this meeting pointing fingers and finding everything wrong with any idea or thought that doesn’t directly reflect your own way of thinking and you’ll fall right in line with the laughable “leadership” we have been seeing out of Washington D.C., for far too long. If that is what you seek to accomplish, you would well do the rest of us a huge favor by simply staying home.

But if you can come with an open heart and open mind, seeking answers that might take a little work to accomplish but that might just be what is needed — even if those answers might not totally align with your own views — then I can say, without hesitation, you will be welcomed with open arms.