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The Encourager
Photo: Studiomill
You might call this a Valentine card of sorts. For sure it’s a loving thank you. To explain:

For 35 years, I’ve been aware of her ministry of encouragement. And I’m one of her recipients. Though her life is often over-the-brim busy, if she knows there’s a need, she tries her best to fill it. It seems that her head is always turning like the cogs of a wheel with ideas to bring joy to others. I like to compare her to Dorcas in the Bible, but she’s also like Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet to drink in what He taught, and then she’s also like Lois, the grandmother noted as an example of teaching God’s ways to her grandchild, for she’s done the same.

I wonder if she’s even aware that she’s leaving a legacy? It just comes so naturally to her. However, as she’s shared stories of her life as the child of a medical missionary, the precious tales of her self-sacrificing parents, and how they adopted an almond-eyed child, I see that she came by her caring character traits not but osmosis, but by their example.

She Cares

In the early years of our friendship we lived in the same town, and later we again shared the same town, but most of these years we’ve lived across many states from one another. Thus, we don’t have those around town visits or talks over the back fence. Our miles-between-friendship has been many-dotted by penned letters and cards—and over recent years by e-mail. The words we’ve shared on paper or cyber space have connected us, most often in the middle-of-the-night.  As with the written words, the telephone connection that brings her soft, gentle voice across space assures me that she cares.

One of her largest ministries (she has many), is a nursing home ministry. I wonder how many people in that nursing home live better and are far more content in their home-away-from home for having known her or who know her yet? That particular ministry is as delightfully dated as our friendship. She’s shared many stories of her extended care-home family within those walls. I’ve discerned that this added family of hers is a definite way of keeping her young and joyfully spirited, even though some in the facility are much younger than she.

I’ve chosen not to name her in this article because I know that she’s not alone in her choice of these ministries. She’d want it to be that way. Many others, women, men, even children, carry out such faithfulness to others. This article is to thank all those like this Dorcas-Mary-Lois, combination woman. Those of you who fit this mold make so many lives the happier, indeed you each leave a legacy. You’re earned this Valentine thank you, but you deserve crowns—ones you’ll receive one day when they’re placed on your heads in heaven by Jesus, not for works done, but for love given.

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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