Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:21)
A couple of years ago or so, I pulled into the driveway of my friend Karen Tabor’s new home. I was bringing her youngest son, Sam home. It was dark and I was driving my husband’s brand new car. As I backed out rather aggressively, I completely mangled the Tabor’s mailbox. I mean, it was stunning how quickly I was able to utterly destroy it with Tom’s fancy Durango. UGH! Clearly, I was mortified.
I learned that night what true graciousness looks like. Karen immediately forgave me. The instant she heard my pathetic apology she was merciful. She didn’t even let me pay for the damage, which I know cost the Tabors not a small amount.
Although I was completely full of remorse, it would have been a natural reaction to curse, or at least whisper a little poison in my direction in the heat of the moment. Who could blame her? Karen did not do any such thing. Further, she’s never even given a hint of disdain in my direction, nor has her husband. We’ve laughed about it and it’s clear to me that her desire was to simply move on. She’s withheld any grudge and continued to treat me as she does everyone else– with her signature charm, kindness and good humor.
Karen is the mother of 2 terrific boys and the wife of a pretty hilarious attorney named Jeff. She seems to be big on laughing, golf, and the Indiana Hoosiers. She’s generous, and faith-filled, so I am overlooking the IU thing. Ha?
I read a quote once in an old fashioned book about “how to be a lady” that stuck with me. It went like this. “Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you.” I can’t remember the name of the author but I’ll just say by that standard, then Karen Tabor is most certainly a lady on all 3 counts. She’s a beautiful, sunny, and oh so gracious gal.
Our lives are roller coaster rides, there are lots of twists, turns, ups and downs. Karen is a person whose example of compassion and graciousness serves as an awesome reminder to me of how we are to treat others. She treated me like the Lord treats us when we ask for His mercy. She gave it INSTANTLY. Thank you, Karen, for the real life reminder of what kind of woman I want to be in this life. How blessed all of us for knowing you! You are a terrific human and I am proud to call you friend.