I learned this morning that Mrs. G, one of the most loving women I knew from church, passed away after a long battle with multiple sclerosis and cancer.
Every now and then, when you attend a church for a long time, you meet a handful of people who really amaze you with their level of faith, dedication to serving God and reflecting God’s love to others around them.
Mrs. G. was one of those people.
I learned this morning that she passed away. Hers was a long battle with multiple sclerosis, a debilitating muscle disease that first made its presence known in her teens, then went into remission for many years. About three decades ago, it came back and began affecting her slowly.
Mrs. G. never complained, even as she lost the ability to walk, then lost function in her arms and eventually even the ability to speak more than a few words.
One of the most defining moments of her character came a few years ago when she fell out of her wheelchair and ended up breaking both legs. As she lay in a hospital bed recovering from that calamity, she struggled and mustered up enough strength to call people from her Sunday School class who’d been out sick the previous Sunday just to check on them.
Imagine that these days, when it seems like all of us have moments of self-pity a little too often: a woman who, by all reasonable accounts, had every reason to sink into a few moments of “poor me” instead of spending her energy looking out for other people.
God, it seems, made far too few people like that.
Her husband teaches Sunday School in my parents’ class to this day. (He taught my Sunday School class when I was a teenager.) At one lesson a few years ago, he was talking about Biblical courage and asked the class who they considered courageous people. He was, of course, expecting the names of figures in the Bible.
My dad told him that his wife, Mrs. G., was easily one of the most courageous people he’d ever met.
I’d second that.
In the last year or so, doctors diagnosed Mrs. G. with cancer on top of her ongoing MS. In the end, she was receiving hospice care and all of us like to believe she was already out of any pain long before she left this life.
My faith tells me that such a beautiful, loving person is in the loving arms of our Father today.
And I can think of no one who deserves such a loving embrace more.
Rest in Peace, Mrs. G., and thank you for your incredible example of a life that reflected Christ’s love.