Monday, September 12, 2016

my H E B



Yes, he went to this or that school; yes, he accomplished this or that thing. It's important that he recognized the value of therapy at a time when many in his religious world scoffed at it; it's important that he built a space of beauty and healing that has nourished many. But here's the important thing about Howard E. Butt, Jr.

I was sitting next to him at a conference at Laity. The woman on the other side of him had a 40-ounce Big Guzzle (this was in an era when 40-ounce Big Guzzles seemed big). She, of course, immediately dropped it on the floor. Within one second, the man next to me was on his hands and knees on the floor, using nearby napkins, calling for towels, and cleaning up after this woman.

He was in his mid-70s. He was at a station in life where he might be expected to let someone else do the dirty work. His pants undoubtedly cost more than five dollars. But there he was, a grocer's son all over again, on his hands and knees, mopping up someone's mess, just as the Savior he loved and resembled commanded.

As it turns out, that *is* what he did in life: over and over again, he saw a need and got to the task of meeting it, no matter how unglamorous or nitty-gritty.

The world will miss Howard. Rightly so: the world is a better place for his life in it — right in the middle of it.

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