Sunday, September 30, 2012

In Memory of Betty N...

Within the past few weeks, I was reminded of someone I met nearly 4 years ago and with whom I  had only one conversation.  The remembrance of this person came as my eyes caught a name one morning in the obituaries published in our local newspaper.  The name was Betty N.  I wrote about our meeting and its spiritual significance on December 10th, 2008 in this blog.

Since Betty has recently left this world for her eternal home, I will share again the story I wrote following that one conversation we had.  The story was a portion of my blog post that day.

"I've participated in something our church does each year which is called "The Edgewater Boutique.

The boutique event is a time for residents of Edgewater Nursing Home to "shop" for Christmas gifts. Items they or members of their family might enjoy are donated. That collection of things is put on display where residents can view and make their choices. If they want their selection wrapped, we provide that service. For folks who cannot get out to shop elsewhere, this event is greatly anticipated and enjoyed.

It was at Edgewater, a nursing home in our community, that I met Betty N. She needed help with the event because she had limited vision and was in a wheelchair. We almost immediately bonded. She was excited about the event and was a fun-loving person. She found a lovely crocheted sweater and wanted to put it on. I helped her with that and she decided to "buy" it. I told her it was a gift and required no payment. After that, she was ready for coffee and a cookie so we moved to a table where those were being served. We had plenty of "helpers" for this event, so I decided to linger in conversation with Betty. She shared much of her life story with me. We had some things in common and great differences in other things. She grew up with her wants and needs easily provided for - not the same for me. But we both had/have loving, kind and capable mothers. After hearing about Betty's life, I decided to ask her about the future - specifically the time when her life in this world would end. I asked what she thought would happen then. She said, "I hope I go to heaven." That statement led to a conversation in which I was able to share with her about things of faith which she said she found very interesting. She told me she had never before heard the things I was telling her and she remained actively engaged as long as I talked. She kept thanking me for spending so much time with her and for telling her about such wonderful things. I told her she could have a spiritual birth and become one of God's children. She said she'd have to think about it. I told her it was possible to pray and become a child of God right then if she'd like that. She immediately replied that she wanted to. I told her I would pray and she could repeat my words. She spoke clearly and exactly every word I said. When we finished praying, she beamed and continued to thank me for taking time with her that morning. I took her to her room after that and as we passed another person helping with the event, he spoke to her and said, "Have a wonderful day!" Her sincere reply was, "I've already had a wonderful day. It can't get any more wonderful than it's already been!."

My heart was soaring. As I drove to Edgewater that morning, I had been thinking of the time when Jesus told his disciples that "the fields are white for harvest." I told him that I believed that was true so I prayed that He would show me someone that morning who may be ready for His harvest. And that prayer was answered in an amazing way!!! Betty was waiting to be told God's truth. When she heard it, she responded with eager, trusting faith and I shared the joy I knew that angels were expressing as they welcomed another sheep whose name had just been entered into the Lamb's Book of Life."

As I read the short obituary of this dear woman, I again thanked God for the privilege he gave me to meet and converse with Betty during lucid moments in her life.  Thank you, Lord, for the gift of salvation.

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