Kentucky Fried LOVE!!!

Last week Rhonda and I went to Kentucky Fried Chicken here in Tyler for dinner.  Now we’re not Kentucky fried fans, but it had been exactly a year to the day that Chandler, Rhonda and I had eaten there together while the other kids were out of town.  Something happened that night at the restaurant with Chandler that I will never forget.

The only people in the restaurant that night were us and a small family with a mentally disabled boy.  After placing his order, Chandler walked past the other family on his way to our table.  The mentally disabled child called out to him in a shockingly loud, uncontrolled voice, “HELLLLOO!”.  Chandler turned and grinned at him,  said hello back, then continued on to our table and sat down to eat.

After thanking God for our food, Rhonda and I began to eat.  But something was wrong…Chandler was just starring down at his food unable to eat, and wouldn’t participate in our conversation.  After a few minutes, he got up and went to the restroom and was gone for quite a while.  When he came back his eyes were blood shot and his face was red. Clearly Chandler was not feeling well, and we were concerned about him.  We began to question Chandler about why he wouldn’t eat and what was wrong.  What he shared with us showed us his TRUE condition.  Chandler told us that he was so grieved over the disabled child’s condition that he just didn’t have an appetite.  But even worse than that, Chandler was so grieved over his own response to the child that he had gone to the restroom to weep.  He was so disappointed in himself for not stopping to talk and listen and share with this special kid and his family.  Chandler felt like he had missed out on an opportunity God had given him to share His love with a valuable and precious child of God.

Lessons Learned

As I reflect back on this evening there are several lessons worth considering and learning from.

1)  First, Chandler’s response reveals the sensitivity and the tenderness of his heart toward others, especially those less fortunate.  He had returned from China only  two weeks before and we already knew that there was something different about Chandler.  How does a heart become so soft?

2)  This story is also a reminder that Chandler wasn’t perfect.  He would be the first to tell you that. And he often shared his failings with his closest friends and family.  Chandler was a normal young man that struggled with the same things we all struggle with. But somehow, amidst his own pain and own struggles God was able to soften and shape his heart into a heart of love.

3) How did Chandler respond to his failures?   Well, this night at KFC when he failed to respond with the love he felt he should have, he immediately got alone with his Father, confessed his wrong heart and purposed to love more like Christ the next time God brings someone in his path.

Well, the chicken wasn’t very good that night, but the lesson we learned from our son about how to value and love every person God places in your life was wonderful food for our souls.  We will always remember the teary eyes and tender heart of a young man, and the love he had for a handicapped boy at Kentucky Fried Chicken.  I pray we will also remember to take the time to stop, listen and share God’s love with each person He brings in our path and to value every special human life.

As Chandler often said….“it takes a lot of love to live!”

Love,  Chuck & Rhonda

Beloved, let us love one anther,  for LOVE is of God; and everyone who LOVES is born of  God and knows G0d.  The one who does not LOVE does not know God, for God is LOVE. I John 4:7-8


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18 Responses to Kentucky Fried LOVE!!!

  1. Thank you for sharing this clear example of how his faith affected his actions. Sometimes the stories of someone’s failures are the most challenging, and I think this is one of those stories.

  2. Alouette Greenidge says:

    This is so beautiful! I see in Jimmy a heart that was acutely sensitive to the Lord. It is my prayer that Christ will mold me into someone to whom it is vitally important to show the true, pure, selfless love of Christ in every way I can. Thank you, Brazell family–and thank you, Jimmy.

  3. Sophie Riling says:

    I love how he longed to be alone with his Father.

  4. Peter Martin says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story and also for sharing Jimmy with us. I appreciate getting to know him more and more.

  5. Elisabeth S. says:

    Thank you for sharing this encouragement through Jimmy’s example of a responsive, sensitive heart; it’s a great reminder of how failure can be productive towards growth when rightly responded to. It is this kind of heart that God can mold to make more like His own.

  6. Jill Ashmore Dutton says:

    Thank you Chuck! What a blessing Chandler still is!!! Love ya’ll!

  7. Sonny Preslar says:

    I never meet Jimmy but from the responses and things shared this past year. He must have been a very special and consciousness young man. Chuck you and Rhonda raised and influenced Him in his early years you are to be proud of your part in Him being so special. God Bless you. Love your friend in Christ Sonny.

    • Chuck Brazell says:

      Thank you for sharing and for the encouragement Mr. Preslar. We had some good examples and teaching ahead of us to learn from. Thank you for your and your family’s example and friendship!

  8. Craig Linda & Ellie Seifferth says:

    How convicting this is….so easily wrapped up in my own world to notice those around me. I have never been a KFC fan, but I will now look at their signs a lot differently, knowing that KFC may very well stand for Kingdom-Focused Chandler!

    • Chuck Brazell says:

      Hey, I really like that! KFC=Kingdom Focused Chandler. I hadn’t really thought about that but now every time I see a KFC sign I’ll think of Kingdom Focused Chandler and remind me to keep my mind on the Kingdom! Thanks for sharing!

  9. What a precious heart and touching memory. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  10. John Clark says:

    Jimmies mistake was not a mistake at all! His failure to act that nite became a great lesson to all of us and I am sure God comforted that young man for his part in this. All things are used for good when you love and believe in Jesus.
    Thanks again to Jimmie!

  11. Dina Ash says:

    Yep! That is our Chandler! He had a very tender heart for others and though he was a normal kid you are right that he admitted his mistakes to those close to him…but always took it to his Lord to gain an eternal perspective on things. He had a teachable spirit and it shows by his tender heart toward others!

  12. Wanda says:

    WOW!!! I wept reading all that…it’s as if I could feel what Chandler must’ve felt! I feel these kinds of feelings, too…and am SO glad that you shared that. I really LOVE you all SO much and feel so much of what you are enduring…but I’m sure it is by no means anywhere near the intensity you are feeling…

  13. Kevin Taylor says:

    Chicken Fry story was good. Let us see into Chandler’s heart. He loved God, he was also very funny! God & Girls! Haven’t forgot that one. Amazed what his foundation is doing thru Christ’s name.

  14. Austin Eldridge says:

    Thanks for sharing they story! Even though I only had the privilege of knowing Jimmy for one week at survival, it was evident that his heart was with God and he longed to serve him, and that he had a heart for others. This truly reflects his character. You are missed, Jimmy o’ Jack.

  15. Lydia Shanks says:

    so provoked by this.

  16. Susan Hufstedler says:

    Chuck and Rhonda! What a precious story about the true heart of a servant! Thank you for taking the time to share it! You can’t read this without crying and being moved and encouraged. It makes Jimmy continue to have a lasting impact to all of us. I’ll never see a KFC without thinking of him and his heart! I love the Kingdom Focused Chandler acronym….it’s perfect! Love you guys! A piece of my heart is always with you…

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