Saturday, November 26, 2016
At the River
I can still hear her voice as she strummed her guitar and sang. The beautiful alto-earnestness, the love that she held there for the elderly folks who listened, the joy in heart that was so evident.
She loved Jesus. And she loved those around her. She loved leading the Nursing Home Ministry those seemingly short years ago.
Evie was a part of my life for so long. We served in church together. We sang together in the choir. She always had a kind word and a smile for me. She was unpretentious. She spoke simply and one knew that she could be trusted.
Evie loved the Lord with all of her heart. I remember when she asked for help with the Nursing Home Ministry at church and I felt the Lord leading me to be a part of it.
One of the greatest blessings in my life was being a part of that ministry. We would venture out on (I think) it was a Thursday night and we would mount up in a stuffy elevator to the third floor of one of the local nursing homes. She would lead the small group of people there in hymns with her guitar and then one of the men would give the salvation message. I think that I will always connect the song "Count Your Many Blessings" to Evie. She sang it with such earnestness and one could see that she truly wanted those men and women to come to know the Lord and that she loved them.
Her husband, Bob served on the Missions Committee with me and my sister. I remember his compassionate heart for the lost people of this world and it was a compassion that Evie shared, a compassion that reached out in faith and action.
Evie was a source of encouragement and grace in my life for so many years. Her Christ-like spirit shone so brightly and even in the past years when her health began to fail, she still had a kind word and a hug for those who came into contact with her.
I heard about her passing into Glory on Thanksgiving day. It was late at night that my husband came into our room and whispered the news and the tears ran down my cheeks into the pillow.
Evie was gone. Gone from this life, from this shadow, into the brightness of Glory. Glory. And she was, and she is-- with Jesus. Whole. Healed. Beautiful and bright and pure and perfect.
And I cried because I was left and because I wanted to talk to her just one more time, to hear her strong alto voice just one more time, to see her there in the front of the church strumming her guitar just one more time. To hold the image of her smile there in my heart and to keep it always.
But I will see her again. Soon. And the words of the old, beloved hymn came to my mind and they soothed my heart and played there--
Shall we gather at the river,
where bright angel feet have trod,
with its crystal tide forever
flowing by the throne of God?
Yes, we'll gather at the river,
the beautiful, the beautiful river;
gather with the saints at the river
that flows by the throne of God.
And I know that I will see Evie again--precious, beloved saint--precious, beloved friend--at the river--the beautiful river, flowing with healing and grace from the throne of God.
And we will sing together to Him, when tears are no more and sorrow has passed.
There at the river. With Him.
I love you, Evie, and I will see you again.
Written in remembrance of Evelyn, beloved of Him.
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