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. 

~Robert Lowry

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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30 comments:

  1. Hugs to you, on the loss of your friend.
    That is one of my favorite songs, too.

    I have many that I hope to see at the River, as well.
    Soon, and very soon. (to quote another great song)

    Hugs again.

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    1. Thank you Tammy! Yes; it is such an indescribable comfort that we will see them again!

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  2. Bless her memory Rebekah. I can relate; not only am I currently taking care of elderly parents, years ago I did volunteer work for nursing homes as well. Pretty much doing the same ministry your friend did. God's richest blessings upon Evie's memory.

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    1. Wind Gauge is an old blog which I no longer use. How that popped up ???

      God Bless you Rebekah! Have a wonderful Christmas, your family and all who are part of your worship community

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    2. Thank you, Patrick! I pray that the Lord would bless you as you take care of your parents and minister to them . . . it is so difficult "letting go" of the physical person--the memory of them is truly a gift from God.

      I pray that you would have a wonderful Christmas as well, Patrick--the Lord bless you in every way.

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  3. I am so sorry about the loss of your friend. But the promise of God does bring ease to our hearts!

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  4. Oh, so sweet.
    I love this tribute to your friend and it reminds me of the godly women who have built into my life in so many ways.

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    1. Yes; I'm so thankful for the faithful saints that the Lord brings into our lives! The Lord bless you, Michele!

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  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. I love how God places people in our lives that bless us and inspire us to strive to be better.

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  6. What a beautiful writing for your friend- whew- she sounds like a gift.

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    1. Thank you, Keri; yes--she was! The Lord bless you!

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  7. I'm so sorry for your loss. Evie sounded like a beautiful soul who gave of herself and pointed others to Jesus. So thankful we have hope in Jesus. Praying God comforts your heart and blesses you with peace. Following you at Anita's this week.

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    1. Thank you so much, Julie; The Lord bless you!

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  8. Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. What a beautiful post you wrote about her. Praying that the God of all Comfort will wrap you in His loving arms.

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  9. What a beautiful tribute to your friend! I'm sorry for your loss and pray that God will comfort you as only He can. What a joy to know that our loved ones who have moved on to glory are now at peace and that we WILL see them again. We can rejoice and take comfort in that truth. Blessings to you! I'm your neighbor at #CoffeeforYourHeart.

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    1. Yes; that is such a comfort! Thank you for your kind words, Gayl; the Lord bless you . . .

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  10. Oh, wow. I cried as I read your words. I am missing my dear Mom so much today that it actually hurts. Evie sounds like a special soul, and yes, my friend, you will gather with her at the river one day. You have my deepest sympathy.

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl! It is such a comfort that we will see these dear ones again--we have such a hope--but oh, how we miss them here! The Lord bless you, Cheryl.

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  11. I'm so sorry for your loss. It is a great comfort to know that we will see them again one day. Grace to you.

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    1. Thank you; yes--it truly is such a comfort--the Lord bless you.

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  12. So sorry for your loss and heaven's gain. Praying for you as you grieve such a beautiful life. Thanks for sharing.
    <3 Sherry
    xoxo

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  13. Dear Mrs. Neal,

    Your post was so sweet to read...it touched my heart. I don't know what it's like to lose a dear close friend, such as Evie was to you, but when I read this post, I was sad for you. I know it's not easy, and though we know God is always there beside us, and we will surely see them again in heaven if they are saves, there is still sadness, tears, and pain, and that longing to talk to them just one more time.
    Reading this post reminded me of the hymn "Jesus, I Am Safely Resting". I believe that's the title.

    I hope your day is filled with the peace of Christ which passes all understanding.
    With love you sister in the Lord,
    Ashley

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    1. Thank you so much for those words, Ashley! You are an encouragement to me--and thank you for sharing that hymn! The Lord bless you, Ashley--

      Much love in Christ,
      Rebekah

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  14. Rebekah what a beautiful woman she must have been and how blessed you are to have your life so impacted by one...praying God comforts through this wonderful hope of heaven. Sending love and hugs friend. Crystal

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    1. Thank you so much, Crystal; the Lord bless you!

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  15. I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!
    Tina

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