Yesterday I attended Sally Ann’s memorial service. She was 98 years young.
Noticeably missing from the service was the traditional black mourning garb. Rather, the gathering proved to be a joyful time of commemorating a woman who had celebrated life at every turn. Old friends spontaneously stood up and reflected upon experience after experience with this remarkable woman who had so impacted their lives.
Years ago Sally Ann invested her life into a 19 year old lad who had recently been discharged from the U. S. Marine Corps. At that time she was a 54 year old widow on the tail end of raising two boys without a father. Somehow, amidst an already demanding life, she felt led of God to invite this young, uncut, ex-Marine to live in her guest house while he attended the university. Her intention was to build Christlike character into his life. And build she did:
“Gentlemen open doors for ladies.”
“The correct fork to use with the salad is… ”
“The girl you are dating would be a poor choice for a life partner.”
“God has an important work for you to do.”
Amidst her sometimes daunting challenges, Sally Ann communicated an unwavering belief in that young lad as she chiseled away at his life. That is, she cared enough to confront and challenge him on important life issues, ploddingly building in polish, perseverance, and a Biblical perspective. Her infectious love for Christ spilled over onto him as she arose early, morning after morning to prayerfully ponder over the Scriptures.
Was Sally Ann’s input into this lad’s life merely a nice thing to do? Or was it in response to the Divine mandate Christ gave to his followers to “go make disciples of all nations“? (Matthew 28:19a)
“This is to my Father‘s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples… You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last… ” (John 15:8, 16a) (See Mark 16:15, 16; Luke 24:47-49; John 20:21; Acts 1:8)
QUESTION: Just how seriously are you taking Christ’s Great Commission to “go make disciples“? Are you currently investing your life into that of another, with the view that they in turn will disciple others? Or are you just muddling along by allowing life’s pressures, and your preferences to determine your priorities? If you are not taking His command seriously, what do you plan to say to Him when you meet Him on the other side, as He calls you to account?
And yes, if you were wondering about the identity of that young ex-Marine? It was I!