Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Still Bearing Fruit

“The righteous . . .  are like trees planted in the house of the Lord, that flourish in the Temple of our God,
that still bear fruit in old age and are always green and strong.
Psalm 92:12-14 (TEV)

Reminiscent of a bygone era, Aunt Mary wore her long, white hair twisted into a tight bun and fastened at the back with old-fashioned hairpins. Every time she went out she slipped on a pair of short white dress gloves, fastened at the wrist with a pearl button. At 93, time had weakened Aunt Mary's eyesight and slowed her steps, but, like the psalmist claims, the Spirit of the Lord kept her spiritually strong.

Although her voice faltered and wavered, it didn’t keep Aunt Mary from volunteering to sing one of her favorite hymns every year at revival services. With no thought of retiring, she shuffled her way forward supported by two accommodating gentlemen. Swaying slightly as she passionately sang, she gripped the sides of the pulpit to remain upright. Afterwards, the men would come forward and escort her to her pew. When the altar call was given, Aunt Mary took Jesus’ command to “Go and make disciples,” (Matthew 28:19) very seriously, and offered to pray with anyone who wanted to commit their life to Jesus.

Genuinely concerned for people’s physical and spiritual health, she knew when anyone was sick or facing surgery. If she could not go herself, she would telephone the pastor and say, "Ed is having surgery tomorrow and I'm not sure if he is saved. Please go talk to him."    

Aunt Mary never lost her spiritual fervor. Several years before she passed away, she embroidered a pillow with the words "Dear ones, I'll see you in Heaven." She left specific instructions about where to place it in the casket. Pointing to the pillow and smiling, her nephew said, "Aunt Mary always did have the last word."

The lovingly stitched message reflected the faith she treasured her whole life.

Aunt Mary spiritually flourished like a well-planted tree and bore fruit in her old age. She loved the Lord and shared His message of salvation with everyone, leaving a legacy of Christian friends and loved ones, many of whom can say, "Aunt Mary introduced me to Jesus."

Oh, that I would warrant such an epitaph!

©2011 Pamela D. Williams