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Community Comes Together to Celebrate the Life of a Saintly Woman
The remembrances merged those of a compassionate woman helping others as unselfishly as humanly possible and those of a compassionate person helping others unselfishly as humanly possible. Her tasks were not easy. The rolling out of bed to fix breakfast for the work crews fixing dilapidated housing for free called upon a traditional female role. Simultaneously, too, the role of mom to her family and thousands of students away from home for the first time.
Concurrently and tirelessly, after breakfast, she took the lead and inspired other women to believe in themselves and their embrace talents, through success, failure and in between.
However, Beth and Bob Bondurant practiced an acceptance few can achieve. They accepted a Muslim, a Hindu, a Catholic, a Baptist, and a non-believer with the same warmth and compassion as Presbyterians… the denomination to which they belonged.
Instead of “thou shalt not” the team emphasized “thou shalt be thyself”. They permitted the exploration of life journey questions that few “ministers of faith” would without rolling their eyes or becoming judgmental. Despite your ethnicity, age, gender or challenge, their door was open for inquiry.
They made impressions upon those they served by demonstrating acceptance, compassion, direction, and patience.
While attending PROWL, it was not unusual for Beth to accompany a female student on a physician or hospital trip standing in for “mom”. And, Bob, if a dude had a date and was short, he reached into his pocket and handed out a $5.00. Instead, of “oh no, here comes trouble”, they said, “come on in”, even if that meant they would have to stay later at an already nearly empty chapel.
When circumstances seemed at a public stand still, Beth broke the silence with song. They spoke so much about others, few realized their own needs and wants.
A full house of all ages of faith and non-faith heard about Beth’s life choices guided by the principles of faith and the teaching of Jesus Christ.
Men and women had equality in the administration of PROWL. Beth and Bob “guided” the group.
Before coming to PROWL, my faith teaching exposure had been about “don’t do”. The expression of good became muddied by all the fire and brimstone warnings, which judged others in your life, too. Despite hearing about forgiveness --- or at least placing the issue on one person not a stereotypical group --- I did not know what it meant. Nor did I comprehend “acceptance” of others, especially those from different backgrounds and journeys. Team work was possible, even with those from assorted roots.
For those reasons and more than can be put on a page, Beth and Bob sought to make a little bit of Heaven on an unfair earth. Now, Beth sings in Heaven, and Bob continues with his sons, praising people and God for positives and occasionally jostling with the often asked, why do bad things happen to good people.
Imperfect people make mistakes. They often do not admit them. Imperfect people succeed. Sometimes they will or will not take credit. For all the challenges and admonishments in the Bible, one principle rises: The greatest of these (traits) is love.
God bless (and people on earth too) Beth and Bob for their unconditional acceptance and kindness.