Beloved community

Randall Franks

As I came through the most recent week in my life, I marked a one-year anniversary of an unexpected fall outside my home while working in the yard. That fall on the driveway resulted in a broken hip which yielded a couple of friends responding, our local fire department, and an ambulance ride to nearby Memorial hospital. Where would I have been without the friends who dropped everything and came that day. Safe to say, still laying there for some time. Dan Wright and Stephen Middlebrooks were there in minutes to help me access my status and get me the help I needed. Neighbors began coming out to support and help as well. After 24 hours, a surgeon mended my fractures and in a couple of days I began the process of learning to walk again and whipping those now befuddled muscles back into prior form. When I was brought home, my friends Terry and Pat Crawford were there the next morning with a load of groceries to fill the freezer and keep me going. They were just the first of dozens from my friends and church family who began the process of delivering meals, keeping up my yard, helping me with suitable medical equipment and then driving me to rehab and medical visits. Gary Knowles and Bill Copeland became my constant road companions over the next three months. The medical professionals made a huge difference in guiding me through the process. In addition to the process of getting back into shape, I also was dealing with the fact that I was uninsured and now had a very large bill that became a focus in a year when all the areas of my normal income in music and acting had been derailed by the pandemic. As a result, my hometown community as well as fans from music and acting from around the U.S. stepped forward to aid in that process. When all was said and done, thanks to many prayers and the kindness of so many – every bill was taken care of, allowing me to return to focusing on my health in a time when the future was so unsecure. If I had lived in a big city rather than a small town where I had actively joined in creating opportunities to build our community, I don’t think I would have faired as well through this adventure. If I had not for years been an active member of an amazing church family at Ringgold United Methodist Church, working alongside so many in mission to make a difference in other people’s lives, I would not have faired as well. I did my very best to share my thanks to all who made a difference during these moments in my life, if I missed anyone, and you see this, please know you made my life better. For the gift you gave me, I will continue to make every effort to pass along the kindness to others. The community we call home, the people we surround ourselves with can certainly decide what our lives will be like when dire circumstances arise. I once heard a wise woman say, “If you want a friend, you should be a friend.” That is so true! You should spend your days helping and making a difference in the world around you – creating Beloved Community. If you love others without expectations, you will be loved in return. Create the world you want to live in…. I am blessed that the one I found myself living is more beloved than I could have ever dreamed. I thank God for that!

Actor/entertainer Randall Franks is best known as “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” a role he performed on NBC and CBS from 1988-1993 and now on MeTV and other channels. He was part of cast of three other TV Series including Robert Townsend’s “Musical Theater of Hope” which aired on UPtv (Gospel Music Channel). His latest film is “The Crickets Dance.” In the film “Broken,” he stars with Soren Fulton, Felix Ryan, Bailey Borders and Joe Stevens. In another film “Lukewarm,” he starred with John Schneider, Nicole Gale Anderson, Bill Cobbs, Jenna von Oy and Jeremy Jones. He starred with Natalie Grant and Billy Dean in the teen drama “Decision“ and in “The Solomon Bunch,” a children’s adventure, Randall does a comedic cameo. He is also friends with Courier publisher Jim Clark.

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