Yesterday I attended the funeral of my dear friend’s mother. Her mother, Anna Beth, was the quintessential wife, mother and pastor’s wife and I had the pleasure of benefitting from seeing her do all of those roles so well. The pastor who spoke abut her yesterday did such a good job capturing her spirit. She was sweet. And as he said, even the test of marriage, parenting and eventually Alzheimer’s could not take away that sweetness that was the core of who she was.
It was a reminder to me of the beauty and power of daily obedience. Not name up in lights, flashy serving of the Lord. But in the trenches of service in her home and in her church. An open door to outsiders, a place of rest for her family and her friends, an investment in the children of the church. Steadfastness comes to mind and it was so beautiful to celebrate that about her.
One of the most powerful images came from a surprising place. As I mentioned, Anna Beth was a pastor’s wife- a PCA pastor’s wife. At the beginning of the service, a long line of men entered and filled four long rows at the front right of the church. Then the family filled four rows on the left side of the church. These men are all PCA pastors who had come to support Mr. Smith. They must have come from many places and from far away for some of them. The line was so long and such a powerful symbol of support during this grief. In our denomination, the pastor does not join the local church that he is serving. He is a member of the Presbytery. In essence, these men are his church, his elders. So we were witnessing his elders care for him not only as coworkers in the ministry, but as friends as well. It was so touching.
I can see so much of Mrs Smith in my friend Lisbeth. What an investment Mrs Smith made in her 4 children who have grown up to love the Lord, have precious families, and serve the church in so many ways. What a return on her steadfastness. What she did was so very important. And that is good for this momma of 4 to be challenged by.