In Honor of Barbara Thomas

 

If you know David Thomas, then you knew his delightful mom, Barbara.  If you know Sharon Kintzler, then you knew her dear mom, Barbara.  If you know Monty, then of course, you knew his Barbara.  If you know Lily or Witt or Baker Thomas, then you knew their beloved grandmother, BaBa.  If you know Connie Thomas or Jim Kintzler, or Ellen Taylor, Connie Crafton, Nancy Sorrells, or any of their family members, then you knew Barbara Thomas. 

 

You didn't even have to have ever met Barbara.  To know any of her family members or her friends is to know her, because every person who met Barbara walked away with a little of her inside of them...with her family carrying the largest parts of her heart.  It was impossible not to.

 

If you ever met her in person, you know what we mean.  You left that encounter different.  Your step was a little lighter, your heart a little warmer, and your smile reflective of that beautiful, engaging smile of hers that lit up a room.  Her sense of delight and joy would have splashed over onto you.  She just loved like that.

 

For you to even be reading this message means Barbara's life touched yours in some way.  Her intentionality, her generosity of spirit, her gracious hospitality, her passion, her strength.  Barbara had heapfuls to give...and she gave out of those heapfuls constantly.  And, more than anything else, she wanted everyone she met to know whose love she lived out of on a daily basis:  Jesus'.  Barbara's faith was foundational for her...for the way she lived and the way she loved each person with that characteristic intentionality and generosity.  She loved like that.

 

Those of us who knew and loved Barbara have been indelibly marked by the woman she was on earth and is today in heaven.  Her radiance reflected the radiance and the love of our gracious, generous, strong, intentional God who delights in each of us.  We know His love a little better by the way that Barbara loved her family, her friends, and all of us whose lives she or they have touched. 

 

We, at Daystar, are profoundly grateful for Barbara Thomas, for so many reasons.  When Barbara's family talked about the Daystar scholarship in her honor they said, "We invite you into her generosity."  Thank you for being a part of her generosity.  Because of the way she loved, and the way you have given, families who are facing cancer will not have to face it alone.  We will do our best to love those children and families with the same intentionality, strength, graciousness and delight that Barbara would have.  We sure want to make her proud. 

 

"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.  Mostly what God does is love you.  Keep company with him and learn a life of love.  Observe how Christ loved us.  His love was not cautious but extravagant.  He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us.  Love like that."               Ephesians 5:1-2, The Message