What a pathetic waste!

In the book Men of Valor: The Powerful Impact of a Righteous Man by Robert L. Millet, and in the book Be Not Afraid: Turning to Christ in Times of Crisis by Ted Gibbons there is a story by Boyd K. Packer.  I would like to share that story in this post.

I recall on on occasion, when I was returning from seminary to my home for lunch, that as I drove in, my wife met me in the driveway.  I could tell by the expression on her face that something was wrong.  “Cliff has been killed,” she said.  “They want you to come over.”  As I hastened around the corner to where Cliff lived with his wife and four sons and his little daughter, I saw Cliff lying in the middle of the highway with a blanket over him.  The ambulance was just pulling away with little Colleen.  Cliff had been on his was out to the farm and had stopped to cross the street to take little Colleen to her mother who waited on the opposite curb.  But the child, as children will, broke from his father’s hand and slipped into the street.  A large truck was coming.  Cliff jumped from the curb and pushed his little daughter from the path of the truck – but he wasn’t soon enough.

A few days later I had the responsibility of taking at the funeral of Cliff and little Colleen.  Someone said “What a terrible waste.  Certainly he ought to have stayed don the curb.  He knew the child might have died.  But he had four sons and a wife to provide for.  What a pathetic waste!”  And I estimated that that individual never had had the experience of loving someone more than he loved himself.

Do you think that Cliff’s actions were a pathetic waist.  I don’t!  If I was in Cliff’s situation, I would do everything I could do to make it so that one of my children could live a productive life.  It is the responsibility of parents to protect our children with everything.

Most of us will not have to protect our kids from a fast moving truck, but we do need to protect our children from the fast moving attacks that the world will throw at them.   How often do we sit on the side lines and watch as our children run out into the street of life?   We need to have enough character and valor to be willing to run out into the street and help them wade through the traffic of the modern world, and to push them out of the path of a moving truck.

Another thought that I had when reading this, was am I Cliff or and I the truck?  How many times have we been the truck that hit our children and damaged or killed part of their spiritual being?  How often have we damaged the sense of their Godly nature, and their sense of a noble self?  We need to strive to make our homes the same as the the other side of the street.  A place where our children will run to get to.  A place of comfort like the arms of a waiting mother.

One more thought that I had was of the mother.  She was sitting on the other side of the street watching as the events unfolded.  What do you think her thoughts and actions were?   The main thing I thought of was the roles each of the parents took.  The father was the protector, and ran to the aide of Colleen when she needed him.  It was not the mothers responsibility to push her out of the way of the truck, but the responsibility of the father.  How many homes do you know of where the mother is the moving force to protect the children from the effects of the world.  In our home, momzoo does a lot more to protect the kids from the evils of the world than I do.  This is something that I need to work a lot better on.  The father should be the one that pushes the children out of harms way with prayer, scripture study, and other religious protectors.


  1. Cliff's action were not a waste as anyone who loves their children would know. I myself have had to chase my 2 year old daughter when she has bolted for the street. Good thing we live in a quiet neighborhood.

    Cool blog.

  2. I wasn't sure where the title of this entry was heading so I had to read! Very good entry.
    I think mothers and fathers have different responsibilities and different ways for protecting their children and that's why they are both needed in a family!
    I rather die protecting someone than witness the attacks.

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