Lighting the Season: Giving joy to all who came by
by Chris Collett
Columnist
December 22, 2012 12:38 AM | 982 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Collett<br>Columnist
Chris Collett
Columnist
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This is actually the third column I have written for this week’s paper. The first two dealt with the tragedy in Newtown.

But after much consideration, I have decided the criminal who carried out this heinous crime has gotten enough attention.

So I will only ask that we all continue to pray for all those who were touched by this tragedy.

As a child growing up in the Keithburg Community it was hard to think about Christmas without thinking of Glenn and Juanita Hendrix.

I feel sure that I have never known two people that exemplify the spirit of Christmas more than this couple.

For many years their home was lit up like no other during the holidays. I am not sure how many weeks it took Glenn to string all of the lights, but it must have been a daunting task.

There were lights everywhere. People come from far and near to marvel at this tremendous display.

Living in Keithburg, we didn’t have to travel far to enjoy one of the simplest pleasures of the holiday season.

Some may wonder why Glenn would go to this much trouble and this much work just to put up lights.

If you know Glenn then you already know the answer.

He loves seeing joy in other’s lives. If you don’t know him, you have missed a blessing.

Glenn is no longer able to put up the display that drew so many people to their home over the years.

His health has given him a challenge as of late. But his hard work gave joy to many children and adults for many years.

If you were one of those who got to enjoy his efforts, I hope you take a minute to give him a call and tell him so.

Because he did what most of us are too lazy to do.

And he did it for others and not for himself.

While Glenn was busy putting up lights, Juanita was always busy either directing the church Christmas play or putting together a group of carolers to go and sing to the elderly.

I can’t recall a play or a night of caroling that Juanita was heavily involved in. She didn’t have to do it. She could have been doing anything. But she chose to do it because of her love for the Church and her special love for the elderly.

Juanita has never lost either love. She is still an active member of Chalcedonia Baptist Church and I have no doubt will be until she leaves this world. She can also be found on many days at the nursing home visiting with the elderly. For many, going to a nursing home is a chore. But not for Juanita. It is a way of life. She very well may be the only visitor some of the elderly ever get. Think on that one.

Glenn and Juanita’s love for Christmas doesn’t revolve around Santa Claus. It revolves around their love for God and their love for people. They have been there for me when many others ran away. They opened their home to me when others shut the door. I have never felt judged in their presence nor have I heard them judge anyone else. That is saying a lot if you think about it. How many of us can say the same?

Not having Glenn and Juanita’s house to visit and see the lights at Christmas takes something away from me.

It is something I miss now and will always miss. Part of the beauty was knowing the hard work that they had put into the holiday. And knowing they did it in hopes to draw children young and old to their home.

Glenn and Juanita didn’t end their gifts to humanity after the Christmas season.

Their doors were opened all through the year to any and all who might feel the need for a safe haven in this troubled world.

We now have lights at Lake Lanier, the Botanical Gardens, and many other venues throughout metro Atlanta.

And they are all wonderful places for families to visit.

But none can compare to the house on the hill in the Keithburg Community and the love that could be felt there.

Glenn and Juanita may no longer be able to go like they once did. For it happens as we all get older.

But the memories they have helped give to many of us will live on forever.

Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.
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