Friday, April 27, 2012

Her Love For Jesus

I unzipped the outer pocket of my mom's bible cover, and in it I discovered a bulletin.  It was the bulletin from the Sunday my family joined Grace Presbyterian Church.  Sara and Hannah were baptized that day.  She had kept it.  All of these years she kept it tucked safely near her bible.

My mom was not a pack rat.  She didn't believe in keeping anything she either wasn't going to use or had some special meaning to her.  Discovering she had kept that bulletin was overwhelming to my heart.  She wasn't crazy about us joining a Presbyterian church.  I was born and raised Southern Baptist, and just the fact they baptize babies and sprinkle instead of dunking was enough to cause her to have issues with it.  But despite her issues, she kept the bulletin.  She even grew to be grateful we were a part of Grace.

I had to zip the pocket back up and walk away.  It was more than my heart could take at that moment.

Two weeks later I sat down at her kitchen table and began flipping through her bible.  When I unzipped the bible cover I found two more bulletins.  One was from the Sunday my uncle Danny was ordained as a minister; the other was from a Sunday my brother had preached at the church he was attending.

She kept them.  They were precious to her.  Just like the bulletin from where we had joined Grace, she treasured them.

As I opened up her bible and a piece a paper fell out.  It was a scrap piece of paper she had taken notes down on at some point.  At the bottom she had written, "I have appointed Him as my Power of Attorney".

There in black and white ... in her handwriting was tangible evidence her heart belonged to Jesus.

I probably sat there a good 5 minutes thanking the Lord for giving me that gift.  One more confirmation He's given me to show me she's with Him.

As I started flipping through her bible I immediately noticed how marked up it was.  It was full of red, green, pink and black ink.  Highlights of yellow and pink.  Notes written all through the margins.  Dates next to scripture.  The spine of the bible was well broken.  It looked close to cracking.  It most definitely was well used.

Then I noticed it was a bible I had bought her for her birthday in 1990.  It looked like she could have used a new bible, but instead of buying a new one she had kept it.  For almost 12 years she had used the bible I had bought her.  It was all I could do not to weep.

After I had been sitting there for awhile, my brother came in and sat with me.  We flipped through the bible together.  We read the notes she had written and speculated what the dates meant next to certain scripture.  We talked about how well she could quote scripture.  We shared stories of reasons that would cause her to spout them off at us.  It was such a sweet time.

Since her death there have been the most amazing things about her that have been brought to our attention.  Things that the Lord knew my heart desperately needed to hear.

I click on my mom's Facebook page at least once a day.  I can't explain to you why ... just like I can't explain why I have a need to go to the cemetery every day.  Somehow it makes me feel close to her.

A couple of weeks ago when I clicked over to her page I discovered a message from someone she had met online playing games on a site called Pogo.  They had become friends 3 years ago.  My mom had told me about this lady and had asked me to pray for her on occasion.  Jackie was asking for someone to explain to her what had happened to my mom.  She stated she hadn't seen her online in about a month and had noticed people were writing about how much they missed her.

I told her she had died suddenly from an apparent heart attack on March 21.

It was then she wrote me the sweetest email ...

"I saw your reply on FB this morning before I went to church. When I met your mom it was at a very lonely time in my life. Everything was falling apart or so I thought. She gave me the strength and courage to move forward. Today I am closer to God and have become more involved in my church. Oh and how your mom would have liked to hear that I have made the decision to be baptized this Summer. But I know she will be there looking down upon us all on that special day. May God bless you and your family Jackie"

I cried when I read this.  I cried hard.  Jackie lives in California.  On the other side of the country my mom was showing someone Jesus.

I have had so many people tell me stories of how my mom blessed them.  She did things no one ever knew she had done.  She was an encourager and a giver.  And just like my uncle Danny said at her funeral, she was leader.  So many people she lead to Jesus ... so many she pointed to the cross.

Much of the things I have been told I already knew, but it has blessed my heart to hear how much it has blessed the person who was sharing what she had done for them and what she meant to them.

However, there is also much I had no clue she had done.  Hearing those stories have been so comforting to my heart.  So much evidence of the fruit she was bearing.  So much evidence of how much she loved Jesus, and because she really knew who He was, she wanted everyone to know Him.

What a legacy she has left us.

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