It’s been a week of remembering for me—a week of joy and sorrow. I have simultaneously cried and laughed. (My son calls that “craughing,” and I’m very good at it.) My one surviving aunt passed away this week, and I have been on quite a trip down memory lane.
My Aunt Betty was a character like no other. She was small in stature, but large in life. She had definite opinions about most things in life, and she was adamant about her right to voice those opinions. She loved southern gospel music, travelling, her children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, her rather large Christmas village, and homemade noodles. Oh, and laugh; Aunt Betty had the best laugh. She was my late father’s younger sister, and I’ve remembered a lot about the two of them together. What a hoot they were. I’ve spent the week craughing at every memory.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my aunt and my father (as well as assorted other family members) are now sharing eternity with Jesus. Although I may experience sorrow at their passing, I have monumental joy in knowing they are living out eternity in the presence of Jesus. I’ll bet they are walking on the streets of gold amazed at what they are seeing. Aunt Betty loved pearls, and I’ll bet she’s still admiring that pearly gate that is the subject of so many southern gospel quartet songs.
It’s good to remember some things, isn’t it? The New Living Translation of Hebrews 13:7 says, “Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.” It’s good to remember the times people have shown me how to have faith in tough times. I watched as they faced problems head on with their hope leading the way. I heard their prayers, I saw their much used Bibles, I watched as they let Jesus be the King of their lives. I listened as they spoke truth in my life in ways that cannot be measured.
I want to learn to imitate that faith. I want to, in turn, teach others how to spend time with the Lord, showing others who God is as they start to grow in faith. I want to reach out to others as they have reached out to me.
Amazingly, we are never left alone, for God sends people our way that encourage us, build us up, and teach us about faith. Find those people of faith. Watch how they conduct their lives. Learn their faithful ways. Then, live your life following their example. Imitate the faith of your leaders. It’s the right thing to do.
Verna Davis, speaker, writer, and teacher, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.