Candy Lady, R.I.P.

I had my post op visit yesterday in Houston (everything’s fine). When I arrived in town I called to let my wife know I had made the 250 mile trip without incident. After our initial greetings she told me she had gotten a call from the pastor of a church I used to pastor. Merle Knight had been murdered by her son.

Everyone loved Merle – probably because she loved everyone. My kids knew her as the Candy Lady because she always had a piece of candy for them. They liked to go to her house and visit – not only for the chance at a piece of candy, but to see her and her dog.

Merle was also an integral part of the ministry at Hooks FUMC. Whenever the children or youth were doing something, she was there to help. Her compassion for the kids in her neighborhood was also a spur to get others involved. I still remember her telling me about a young boy in the neighborhood who stopped to talk to her one day.

“How are you doing,” she asked the boy.
“I’m ok. My dad just moved out,” he replied.
“Oh, I’m sorry. You must be sad.”
“He’s not my real dad. He used to beat me al the time. I’m happy he’s gone.”
Merle’s heart was broken. I doubt this kind of story is unique to East Texas, but I’ve heard it too many times over the years.

We’ll all miss Merle. She made a difference in the lives of many.

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