Yesterday, I taught the ladies Sunday school class. Sitting in the front row was my friend, Pat. I just love Pat. She's funny, sweet, loves a good cup of coffee, and has a tender, compassionate heart. I have learned so much from her, I often wonder at the notion that I should teacher her anything.
Pat lost her husband to leukemia in 2008. Prior to that, she lost her son in a tragic car accident. He was only 17 years old. Many years before that loss, she lost a child in the early days of his infancy. The same year my daughter was born, she gave birth to a daughter who has developmental issues. This woman always has a smile on her face, and she loves to laugh. She loves the Lord with all her heart, soul, and strength. She's a loving mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, and friend.
I have occasionally thought that she ought to write a book about what she's been through. I will never forget the day of her son's funeral, as she and her husband comforted others as they went through the receiving line. I will never forget how strong she was the day of her husband's funeral. Since then, she has shown nothing but faith in the God she knows to be sovereign. I have never heard her complain; ever. As I think about the honour I have of being friends with her, and how I am able to work with her and worship with her, I relalize that I have something better than the book; I have the live version.
Her life of faith in any and every circumstance as I have worked alongside her is better than any book I could read, because it is a flesh and bone example, right before my very eyes. Books can be closed and forgotten. We are so lucky in this day of information to be able to partake of the wisdom of brothers and sisters we will never meet this side of heaven. I am lucky enough to know a few ladies like that. Even sweeter, though, is the priviledge of knowing women like Pat up close and personal; women I can give a hug to, laugh with, and serve with. The beauty of the ordinary. Just seeing her smiling face there yesterday morning was a blessing.