By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor
I was touched this past week by an entire family’s faith through difficult circumstances and the example it gives to us all.
One day after the Calton family buried their beloved mother and grandmother Clytie Calton, the family had banded together for the unpleasant task of searching the ruins of the Calton family home for family treasures and heirlooms. Mrs. Calton was injured a week earlier and eventually died from injuries she received in a natural gas explosion at the home.
In talking with family members this week it became apparent that Mrs. Calton’s greatest purpose was making sure her family received a strong faith in Christ and from the way her loved ones were dealing with their very public grief following the accident, I would say Clytie accomplished that mission.
Faith is the belief in something we may not be able to see, like the air traveling beneath the wings of an airplane that keeps it aloft. We have to believe in it, practice it and try to perfect it for the times we need faith most.
Faith in God and the promises he makes through Christ aren’t always easy to maintain but when crisis comes, the training of that faith kicks in automatically to help us get through things that threaten to knock us down completely. Those are the times when our eyes suddenly get opened to those blessings of faith. They were there all along, we just couldn’t see them.
In 2002 my wife suffered a stroke that quite literally changed her life and mine. The experience crushed me at the time. I didn’t know how I would deal with it or get through the time she was in the hospital, the long therapy and the endless chain of doctors’ appointments.
I thought there was no way that anything good would ever come of her stroke and the chronic illness that changed her life. I was wrong though.
After going home by myself each night for six weeks and climbing into a king size bed by myself, I realized how much I missed having her there and how important she was to my life.
Once she got home together we overcame struggles that we never dreamed we would have, especially so early in our lives. We cherished the time we had together around the breakfast table and we both felt safe, comfortable and complete each night in the same bed.
We talked about it and realized that the medical problems had made a love for each other, that we didn’t think could get any stronger, even more precious.
If, through faith, I’m to receive a feeling even greater than that from God after I die, sign me up for that program.
Calton family members said Mrs. Calton, in times of disaster, always told people, “It could be worse.” They were all counting their blessings knowing that as bad as the accident was, and as much as they miss their loved one, it could have been worse.
The house could have been full of other family members who could have been hurt or killed. Clytie’s son Bill Calton, who was in the house too, could have been hurt or killed.
Most of all, I think, from talking to them, they realize how lucky they are to have been able to sing church hymns together before dinners in the home for years and for Clytie’s strength and gentle teaching.
There’s no doubt her faith will live on through future generations.
Karl Terry is managing editor at the Portales News-Tribune. Contact him at 356-4481, ext. 33 or e-mail: