Good-Hearted People Doing Good

Karen Spears Zacharias with then Senator Barack Obama at the Senate Hart Bldg. prior to his first term in office.


Sometimes people ask: Whose’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?

I used to pause before answering – there are so many whose names you’d know – but no more

Karen Spears Zacharias with President Barack Obama during his last Memorial Day in office. We shared the same editor at HarperCollins when we wrote books about our fathers. In fact, that editor, Henry Ferris, gave me a copy of Obama’s book and told me that my book reminded him of Obama’s book – the search for our fathers.


Obama, I say. Twice. Before he was president and after.

I’ve met Jimmy Carter, too, and admire him equally.

What’s Obama like? they often ask.

Just exactly like you’d think he’d be

A good dad, kind-hearted and decent man.

I miss that, don’t you?

Having a president who did not congratulate dictators who murder at will.

A president who loved his wife, his daughters, who walked humbly and served elegantly.

I miss it more with each passing headline.

Don’t you?


Thankfully, I still have a man in my life who is good and decent.

He reminds me that all around us, every day, are helpers.

Good-hearted people doing good in the world.

We just have to find them.

Or be them.

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

1 Comment


about 4 years ago

Be them, yes. Raising one daughter in this dangerous, screwy world was the hardest thing I have ever done--and the most important. More important than my aviation career, more important than my ministry career. Which is not putting God second. Other people can be called and do various kinds of ministry--we all have a calling at a life of ministry in some way. No other person on earth could be my daughter's biological father/spouse of her biological mother in the same way. To be sure, non-biological parents often can and are doing better jobs of parenting and mentoring than many biological ones. My own daughter is doing that very thing herself these days. But as I wrote to her once during a very trying time in our relationship when it seemed that speaking to each other was impossible, "I will always be your father, and I will never stop loving you. 10,000 years after we are both dead and gone, I will still be your father in the eternal story of human beings on this earth. And while I am alive, I will not quit. I cannot quit. No one else is my daughter. You alone. Always." She confided as we danced on her wedding night that it had been hard for her to find a husband. She waited a long time. Because she wanted what her parents have. Her dance partner cried. Nothing is more important than the human beings we make and teach to carry on life and light and love in this creation. Being a husband to my wife and a father to this challenging daughter made me a far better man and pastor and worker in God's kingdom. Who says God doesn't know how to come in first after all? I am eternally indebted to my own parents--and to two sets of grandparents who died before I knew them. And countless generations before. Good men and women doing good. They must have been. They still are. Always will be. Amen.


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