One of the greatest honors ever offered to me came during one of life’s saddest times.
I was heartbroken last year when my good friend and co-worker Kurt De Haan died suddenly while out on his regular lunchtime run. Kurt was managing editor of Our Daily Bread from 1989 until the time of his death. Losing him was a huge blow to each of us at RBC Ministries, but his wife Mary and their four children were suffering the worst pain.
A couple of days before the funeral, I got a call from Mary, who asked if I would share a eulogy of Kurt. I was overwhelmed with this bittersweet privilege.
As I reflected on Kurt’s life, one trait continued to surface. It was a remarkable characteristic, and it was something that I focused on in my eulogy. In the 22 years I had known him, worked with him, and talked with him, I never once heard Kurt say a negative word about any other person.
What a remarkable legacy of a true Christian heart! Kurt lived up to the standard of Ephesians 4:29-32. He sought to build up others, showing kindness and tenderheartedness instead of bitterness and malice.
Will others be able to say the same about us?
Instead of hurling angry words
That wound and stir up strife,
Use words of kindness, filled with love,
That heal and nourish life. —Sper
A kind word is the oil that takes the friction out of life.