Back in 1968 when I was in Vietnam K.I.A. was the acronym for men Killed In Action. In Washington, DC the Vietnam Wall was built to honor all those persons who were Killed In Action in Vietnam. I finally made my trip to the Wall in 2010. Needless to say, it was a moving experience.
K.I.A. is not something you wanted attached to your name. It is therefore amazing that I own two Kia automobiles. I never put the two KIA’s together until I heard that Charles Parker had died.
For Charles though, there needs to be some re-thinking of the KIA acronym. Instead of being Killed in Action for Charles it would be KINDNESS IN ACTION. From the first moment I met Charles and Dorothy I knew I was in the presence of a couple of very special people. Their love for each other, their respect of others, their kindness just warmed your heart. When I would see them – no matter where – they would bring a smile to my face and a feeling of love and grace seemed to pour all over me.
As I recall my time at Pine Grove, I remember Charles and Dorothy among the people I call the fabulous fifty – those people you could always count on no matter what. They gave themselves to the Lord through faithful service in the church and community. Even as Charles was being overtaken by his Parkinson and as Dorothy’s caregiving love increased its demands, they still remained positive, loving and kind.
Imagine not a Vietnam Wall but a Kindness In Action Wall out in the parking lot – running from end to end – filled with the names of those people who were God’s expressions of Kindness In Action – all those people who have lived and served in this place since its beginnings. I know many of the names on that wall who were the Church living out the grace of Jesus in all the moments of their lives. Among those names most certainly would be Charles D. Parker.
Thank you Dorothy and Charles for your beautiful expressions of the love of Christ through your faithfulness and your Kindness In Action.