The Best People I Know, and A Story Unfinished...

I know a few good folks. I suppose myself lucky; in a world jam-packed with dogs and scoundrels (sinners aren't we all?), I have been graced to know some people who cut against the cultural muck. Some are doctors. Some are lawyers. Musicians, housewives, and teachers comprise this lot. And as lucky as I might be to know these folks, I count myself double-lucked when I have the opportunity to gather with them.

Last night, we came together under the high ceiling of an old Methodist mission. Long and narrow, the shotgun sanctuary was twinkle-light and candle lit, and the house band played soft music in the background. We had gathered to read A Story Unfinished: 99 Days With Eliot.

Matt Mooney's first book is a beautiful tale of life, death, and resurrection, and Matt gathered a cast of characters to participate in a public reading that combined mixed media and song. It was a humble night filled with humble people who'd come together to tell a simple story.

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl get married. Boy and girl have a baby. Baby dies. Boy and girl are forever changed.

As we made our way through the readings, Matt and his wife Ginny shared of Eliot, their firstborn who entered this world with a chromosomal anomaly. He lived only 99 days, days which Matt and his wife Ginny called "full."

"How do measure a life? By years? By esteem? By productivity? ...We propose that Eliot's life be measured by impact. Thus, truly his was a full life." ~A Story Unfinished, p. 118.

They read of Eliot's short life, both with a twinkle in their eye. They shared with the courage of faith-building peace-bearers, shared how his life brought them into a deeper, fuller knowledge of glory. They told a story of finding God in the ashes.

And if the story had ended there, it would have been enough.

But the story doesn't end with the life and death of Eliot. The Mooney's moved to action and started 99 Balloons, an organization that "helps others engage children with special needs locally and globally." They began hosting "rEcess," which, among other things, provides a night out for the parents of children with special needs.

And if the story had ended there, it would have been enough.

But it doesn't.

And if the story had ended there, it would have been enough.

Last year, we were neck-deep in medical issues with our son Titus. I've written about my lack of faith in those moments, about how I survived only by the prayers and kindness of good people. The Mooney's were among those people. They cared for and prayed for us. Ginny shared words that steeled Amber's legs. Matt sat around an October fire with me, commiserated like only a genuine ash-sitter can. The Mooneys even threw us a party when we were at our wits end. They stopped their lives to throw a lifeline to a drowning couple. It's what they do. And we are forever grateful for their friendship.

The Mooneys are--and I mean this with no disrespect to the rest of you--the two very best people I know.

Their story is not finished. In fact, none of our's are. But today, I'm inviting you to get to know my friends Matt and Ginny Mooney a little better. Grab a copy of A Story Unfinished. You'll be glad you did.

*Note: purchase 5 or more copies of A Story Unfinished from Givingtons and receive a Skype session with Matt Mooney to discuss the book.