Heaven’s choir just grew a little larger. My former co-worker Morris West is no longer fighting cancer. While my heart is heavy for Ms. Linda & the rest of their family, I thought I’d spend a few minutes paying tribute to my former sales partner.
Morris and I served independent bookstores in the southeast U.S. for several years, representing Provident/Integrity/Sony Music. Morris’s attention to detail, his ability to understand people and his desire to help our stores impact their communities was unmatched. The countless hours he (as a field rep) spent going above and beyond the call of duty – doing inventory, re-shelving product, and helping create displays were more about lives being changed than simple sales numbers (although he could get competitive when our team needed to!)
His wisdom and calm demeanor were such a blessing. (Imagine a sales meeting in a conference room FILLED with sales reps and type ‘A’ leaders. Yep. Exactly.) Morris would sit back, let everyone share their thoughts and would usually wait to speak until the sales director said ‘Well, Morris, what do you think?’ At that point, he’d share a few words, getting right to the main issue, without a lot of fuss or opinion, and help us see the point behind the process.
Don’t get me wrong, he was feisty. His dry wit kept us all entertained. I’d be in a sales conference session; calmly sitting there trying to stay awake & focused and he’d lean over to comment. It’d be all I could do not to burst out laughing & disturb everyone. (And let’s be honest, that may have happened more than once.)
While we were only in the same place 3-4 times a year, we spoke on the phone consistently. He loved his family SO much – anytime our team assembled, he had stories to tell and pictures to share. It was a pleasure to spend time at sales dinners with Morris & Ms. Linda. He was crazy about her, and as a single woman, that was always inspiring. It did my heart good to see a man who had been married for decades still in love with his best friend.
One of my favorite things about Morris was that even as a businessman, he kept a heart for ministry. He never failed to stop and pray with a store employee if they experienced a loss or just needed to chat with Jesus about something. It was an honor to work with him, and I know that the investment he made in stores, their employees and in my life will reap a harvest for generations.
Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’