Most of all, she was not afraid of dying. She knew that being absent from the body means being present with the Lord. Like the Apostle Paul, she could say with absolute confidence, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21, KJV).
Three passions defined my mother’s life.
First, she loved the Lord with every ounce of her being. “Jesus said … Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37, KJV). For Mama, that was as much a lifestyle as it was a commandment. When God called her to be a wife and a homemaker rather than a missionary overseas, she committed it to prayer and then faithfully followed where He led.
Second, she loved God’s Word. Mama believed the Bible, lived the Bible and taught the Bible. How thankful I am today that she made us children memorize Scriptures–even if I didn’t always appreciate it when I was a boy!
Third, she loved God’s people, especially those who needed a helping hand, a guiding touch or a loving hug. She delighted in doing things that you never heard about–cooking for a sick neighbor, teaching Sunday school and visiting the jail. She treated everyone the way Jesus showed us: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-36, NIV).
The work of the Gospel was always uppermost in Mama’s mind. When my father was gone preaching the Good News in some remote corner of the world, my mother knew that the Gospel of redemption through the shed blood of Jesus Christ was drawing people of all tribes and tongues to reconciliation with the Savior.
When I would tell her how the Lord is working through the ministries of the BGEA today–like the My Hope World Television Project–to draw millions of souls to Him, her eyes sparkled and her soul rejoiced. Nothing made her happier than knowing men, women and children were coming to find rest and refuge in the Savior.
Mama was buried in a simple plywood casket made by a convicted murderer who had been born again in prison and who died of cancer in March. Right now, they are together with all of the saints in heaven, rejoicing in the presence of the Lord.
As much as we will miss her in this world, I know she is finally Home.