As I was writing the memorial for Jerry I remembered a very special piece originally posted September 21, 2009 in memory of my friend, Dorothy Ward.
Sunday morning I went to church, as usual. It was pouring rain and I had a hard time raising my umbrella, needless to say I was pretty wet as I went in and took my seat. There was singing, announcements and a sermon, as usual. I went home and put the dinner on the table that I had started at 5:30 AM, and as usual, I looked to see what time the Braves were playing and turned on the Falcons. But as I did it there was the nagging knowledge in the back of my mind of something I was trying hard not to think of. Friday night, many years ago, I was leading the Friday night prayer meeting and a lady normally right on time, came in late looking flushed, beads of sweat standing on her forehead and upper lip. At the end of the service I asked her if anything was wrong. Seems that her husband had taken the wheels off her car so that she wouldn’t have a way to come to prayer so she walked! Overweight and in her sixties this was not something she should have done, but she wanted to be there, for herself and for me. She put her loving arms around me and prayed for me to gain strength. Fast-forward a few years: Her husband came to church and gave his heart to the Lord, became an usher and was just the nicest guy you ever met. He had been in General Patton’s Platoon WW2 and had suffered injuries that affected him physically and mentally, he died not long after that startling change took place in his life. Soon after Robert died she was diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid and underwent radiation. We prayed for her, unwilling to give her up and she went into total remission. That has been twenty years. This morning at 3AM, this saint went home to join the Cloud of Witnessess, she is now pain and cancer free she has a new body. The way I see it, she had a twenty-year extension to her life and she lived it to the full. She was at church every time the doors were opened and still supported me with those loving arms and prayers, even though I am no longer the one leading the prayers. She had a group of friends that she had Bible studies, lunches out and get-togethers with, and she lived in a beautiful home, even though she had five daughters and one son she lived alone, independent of them all! She went to heaven this morning and life went on for the rest of us, as usual. To her, being absent from the body means being present with the Lord, as the Apostle Paul said. In thinking of death, we tend to be scared, upset, dreading, so I am putting some scriptures here to put it in the Lord’s perspective, read them and think on these things!
Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints. Proverbs 14:32 The wicked is banished in his wickedness, But the righteous has a refuge in his death.
None of us are looking forward to the day we or any of our loved ones die, but know that God will help if you have lost someone close to you. There were no news specials or stars holding memorial concerts and T-shirts with her picture on them, but I will miss my friend. The last time I went in to see her I was on my way to prayer meeting on Friday evening but I couldn’t go without stopping at her house. I told her I wanted to come by and thank her for her years of being loyal not only to the Lord, but to me, for loving me. We sang Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art and a chorus of Alleluia, I read Matthew 18:18-20 and we prayed. Say I love you to someone you love today.