Kathy, the valiant

21 Jul

Tim Keller in an interview on his and Kathy’s work on the book of proverbs,

‘They ( men ) shouldn’t be afraid of strong women, since the word “noble” used of this wife (31:10) means to be bold and valiant, a term ordinarily used of warriors (think “Lucy the Valiant”).’

In an epigraph to one of Tim and Kathy’s published works, he calls Kathy, his wife of many moments, the ‘valiant.’

I stopped reading their book at that point and have not picked up that particular work again. ( to this present 20 July 2020 moment )

My Pausing there came from seeing the beautiful. Tim’s dedication was a beautiful seeing. In some ways the hardest and most difficult sight; viewing and feeling your spouse as they truly are, and not how you desire them to be.

Valiant Kathy accepted my offer to serve as a NYC South Bronx HS principal. Those asked serve as ‘Principal for a Day.’ Just a day. ( a former principal before I began the job that one year as a principal was the equivalent of one year of a dog’s life. )

This day’s origin has its genesis in relationship and network building. It was about getting, generating, obtaining resources for your school.

The most precious resource I could place before my loved students was a valiant person, a Kathy Keller.

So, I always team taught one class during the school day. I needed to be in the classroom to exist, to preform and lead outside of the classroom. A principal for a day shadowed the school principal and that meant Kathy word teach an 11th grade ELA class that was studying the play ‘A Streetcar named Desire.’

Kathy was familiar with the play. We prepared by phone together and she came to the school and entered the classroom and began teaching. I always tired to take on a ‘difficult class.’ This class had a number of special needs students and, truthfully, I was a bit concerned about how the kids would relate. And I didn’t have long to wait to see these concerns begin to take shape.

One of two twin sisters shoot her hand up immediately as Kathy began speaking about Stanley and Stella’s marriage, and that she she, Kathy, had been married for 30 plus years.

Desiree asked in her blunt young uninhabited fashion, ‘Don’t you get tired of the same old dick all the time?’

I wanted to crawl into a hole.

But Kathy? She calmly and with gentle force began talking of the beauty of long term friendship with another human being. She talked about how such a long term relationship was and is true intimacy.

Only the students listened more intently than me.

Then, we went smoothly back to Stanley and Stella’s marriage and questioned if theirs was one of true intimacy. The kids thought at discussion’s end it was not.

To be, to understand the meaning of ‘valiant,’ see Kathy, through her writings or talks, her children or grandchildren, her friends or even her Tim. She is a warrior, a noble warrior.

One Response to “Kathy, the valiant”

  1. Christina Farinacci-Roberts July 21, 2020 at 2:32 am #

    What a beautiful tribute to Kathy and an affirming piece for ALL, “valiant” women of noble character. Thank you for the prompt to reflect. 🙏🏽❤️😊

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