I got a Christmas email from a dear lady that we met when we were living in Alaska ('93-'97). She is an older lady, and in recent years her husband and sister have gone to be with the Lord. I mentioned her email to hubby last night while we were in bed, and then I started thinking about the many people that have gone a bit of the way on this journey of life I'm on. I couldn't help but thank God for the priviledge of knowing some of these people. I KNEW that our meeting was by God's design, and though at the time I didn't necessarily recognize them as "pillars" (was I looking for stunning marble or something), last night as I laid in bed thinking, I knew that these people truly were pillars of faith in my life. I want to try to share just a bit about some of them with you (there were many, but several specifics crossed my mind last night)
Bob: We met this man the first Easter Sunday that we spent in Alaska. My Mom convinced me to get in touch with a 4th cousin living in a neighboring Alaska town. When I called, this cousin I hardly knew invited me to his church for Easter. Little did I know how that phonecall would change the course of my life. When I first met Bob, I have to confess, I wasn't so impressed, but over a very short time I saw Bob's heart, which was probably the most beautiful heart I have ever seen. This man was quiet and yet powerful, truly a friend of God. His influence on my husband's life is stilling going strong though this dear man passed several years ago. I doubt he even realized the incredible witness he was to my husband.
Doc :We met this man at that first church visit as well. An older man that one might easily pass up, but when you took the time to sit quietly and listen to this man, he truly was a man of faith, a strong, quiet faith. Nothing showy about it, it just was there....kinda makes me think of a lighthouse, just there, giving out light, seemingly nothing special, and yet the many lives that have been saved.... Though my fondest memory of the man wasn't necessarily "spiritual" (but reminds me that God has a sense of humor)...the church we attended served lunch after the service and Doc would start off with a small plate of food, but always go back for any leftovers. He told me that leftovers had no calories! :)
Another sweet pillar of faith, Miss Ruth was Doc's sister-in-law. She lived with he and his wife. Yet another person that could easily be passed by, but when you stopped for just a minute, oh the beauty revealed....beauty that can come only from Christ in one's life. Miss Ruth was nearly blind and had a speech impediment, but just taking the time....you always came away richer after being with her. I remember visiting her at their home one time and she asked me to read a letter to her. It was then I discovered that she had a gift of letter writing. I don't even remember the number of people, missionaries and family and friends, I just remember it was an incredibly large number. The lady was nearly blind and yet she had this ministry!! She was quite a character too, something you wouldn't find out unless you slowed down and cherished this precious lady.
Mrs. White was a dear lady from my childhood. She was the "flower lady" at our little congregational church. However, I RARELY remember a floral arrangement that she simply bought. Her arrangements went with the season, simply because she would go out walking and just gather things up. The exception to this was Easter Sunday. I was too little to know exactly how it happened (donations, flower funds, etc) but opening the narthex doors on Easter Sunday at that little church is still one of my fondest memories. The entire front of the stage was filled with an incredible display of flowers! Lilies, hyacinth, daffodils, tulips....I can't even name them all. And the smell that wrapped around you as the doors open...when I read in the Bible about a sweet fragrance offered to the Lord, this is what I think of. Life burst forth from that little church on Easter Sunday! And I saw in dear Mrs. White that worship comes in so many different forms. I know she is joyfully tending gardens and gathering beautiful bouquets in heaven!
There are SO many other people that God has placed in my path, so many jewels. I am so thankful for each and every one of them,and for the portion of my journey that they joined me on. God is good ALL the time! Check out the jewels He's sprinkled around you and thank Him for the pillars of faith that He has gathered unto Himself.