The Rhett Revolution

The Vision

When we saw a group of homeless people being evicted from a church shelter, we asked, “God, why don’t you do something.” In the midst of praying, we heard God respond, “I did do something, I made you. Now get out there.” Shane Claiborne

During the morning of December 29, 2015, we were faced with the unthinkable for any parent—the necessity of writing the obituary for our 15 year old son, Rhett. Still in a state of shock and numb from the pain that had only just begun, we had no idea what to say. After all, who would have planned the words to say in the obituary of the most-alive 15 year-old we had ever been around, who happened to be our son. Most obituaries close with a sentence indicating where you can send your memorials. Again, having never given this the slightest thought, we were at a loss for words, but we knew people would want to know. With little time or ability to think clearly, the words and vision for Rhett’s memorial were clear. We closed his obituary with this: “In honor of Rhett give away your best to others—love, kindness joy and grace. This is the legacy of Rhett Hering.”

In a matter of a few days after Rhett’s new life began, friends quickly moved to set up a scholarship fund, the Rhett Revolution Scholarship, to be awarded to college-bound MHS graduates. Money came pouring in from people near and far. By the end of May 2016, over $27,000 had been raised and we were able to award ten, $500 scholarships to graduating seniors. The significant amount, that continues to grow, will allow the Scholarship to be perpetual. We were, and continue to be, moved by the generosity of all of you.  However, even though the Scholarship provides much needed assistance, scholarships given only to college-bound seniors leaves Rhett’s legacy vastly incomplete. Rhett’s life and his legacy were so much more than education and money. Rhett’s true spirit was living life wide-open in a way that brought joy, encouragement and help to everything in his path.

Rhett’s legacy has been best exemplified by his peers who began the Revolution.  The first Revolution was held on May 20, 2016.  On that day, more than 500 McGregor ISD students, teachers, administration and staff joined together to serve, love and encourage people all over our City. I’ve been blessed to see and be a part of many great days in McGregor, but I can say without a doubt, this was the BEST. You had to see it to believe it! What’s even more remarkable, Rhett’s death did not start the idea. The day had been planned months before. However, it was Rhett’s life that gave real purpose and excitement to the event, and thus gave it a name and a reason. With the continued support and encouragement of our great school, The Revolution will continue to be the perfect picture of living out what Jesus called us to do:

Serve one another out of love.

That’s the real purpose and long-term vision for the Rhett Revolution.

Serving, loving and helping one another can take shape and be accomplished in many forms, and it does not always involve a mass of people or a lot of money. But, . . . sometimes it might. Primarily, it involves action; it involves you! Initially, as the Revolution begins to move, it will operate locally; however, the long term goal is for its actions to reach as far as possible, limited only by the immediate motivation and resources of those involved. The actions of the Revolution may range over a broad spectrum; from providing food, clothes and encouragement to kids, to extending prayers and hugs to the next grieving family. In short, the Revolution will act and serve wherever there is a need.

For this movement to last long-term, it must be motivated by more than just the passing of an amazing 15 year old. It must be about all people. Rhett’s life and death will serve as the spark, but the fire will be fueled by people (hopefully kids) who are moved to serve others out of compassion and love. People will want to stay active and involved simply out of seeing the joy and experiencing the self worth and purpose in serving and loving others.  We welcome your participation in the Rhett Revolution as we discover what God called us to be.