“Good manners turn people on!” –S. Truett Cathy
December of 2012, my daughter Arabella and I had the pleasure of being invited and welcomed to Atlanta, Georgia to visit the Chick-fil-A headquarters. We didn’t know the impact it would have on us at that time but our family was going through some very tough times. We were grieving and financially at the bare bottom. I can tell you that I had cried tears every night for the past 2 years wondering how I, a single mother of 5 would survive and take care of my children, the baby being only 2 years old at the start of this forced single life.
Winning this trip via our local Chick-fil-A was a surprise and moment of sunshine in our normal lives. In one day, we forgot all our trouble and walked into a world and arms of love, laughter and the clarity and purpose that we are surviving and we can do this and we will.
The day was full of joy and the message that was engraved on the outside of the building: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” Nothing was truer that day we left Georgia, light of heart, light of mind, light of soul knowing the Lord was indeed helping me carry many of my burdens and I need not worry about the weight but to look forward and glorify the Lord in all that we do.
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” –John 13:14,15
This day listening to Mr. Cathy and his sons message to us about how they took on the challenges of the world and how they gave back starting with nothing more then a red wagon and some bottles of Coca Cola during the depression era, we left with food in our warmed hearts, warmed souls and our warmed belly.
Truly when we heard the founder, Mr. S. Truett Cathy had passed, we shed tears. We remembered his warm touch. He had lived a long life and although he was so very tired, he could took the time to embrace us and to say a word to my daughter to encourage her in her future. I remember we had tears in our eyes when he took her hand for his words truly had the strength of the Lord even as we chuckled with him, “Good manners turn people on.” His heart and his spirit and his mind was and is forever young.
As we mourned the passing of a great man who touched us for a moment but in that moment he showed us a world of love and being accepted and leading as who we are and giving back with that love that Jesus gave to us, unconditionally, is a lifetime of moments.
Sadly, reading through articles from various newsreels and MSM outlets, it seems that all they want to say or enhance and thrust into the public light and make negative are his personal opinions on how he felt life should be lived. Is it so awful in 2014 to have your own personal opinions? Perhaps some are jealous that through his convictions and his personal Christian life and opinions, Mr. Cathy succeeded the odds. Perhaps they are afraid. Mr. Cathy believed in a traditional marriage between a man and a woman. He voiced that opinion and the nation turned it into a hate crime. That didn’t mean he was against gays or hiring gays or sending gay young people to college or helping them when they were in need. That was just his opinion. That didn’t stop him from loving all and opening his doors.
In America, we are supposed to have the freedom of choice and the freedom to have an opinion. But it was very sad to read what people and news outlets were saying to put this great man down and try to turn him into a monster.
My personal experience with Mr. Cathy and his family was that their arms were open to all and through their business, they continue to open their arms to the world, giving millions to charities and to the downfallen and to the children in their community and beyond. Frankly I don’t see the naysayers dropping a coin in the bucket.
I suppose it goes back to good manners, and maybe that is why there are so many unhappy people spewing negative propaganda. Good manners go a long way in opening doors to smiles, love and a full life. A life rich in love, the way the Lord meant it to be.
Our family will miss you, Mr. S. Truett Cathy. You are forever in our memories for making Arabella giggle. You and your sons touched our lives when we needed it the most. Thank you and rest in peace; we know you are chuckling up there next to the Lord.