What is a hero? Is it someone famous, wealthy, known by millions, etc.? The dictionary’s definition is, “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” Probably your definition of a hero may be different than mine or even the dictionary. We all have our own thought of what a hero is to us. But most people if you were to ask them who their hero was they would have someone. My definition of a hero is someone that is close to God. And when you are around them you feel the love of God shining through them. It doesn’t mean they are perfect but that they are striving for being the best person they can be with the help of God.
Life changes so quickly!! We have lost another friend. In one weekend we lost two friends. This friend has lived a long life and was a very special lady. She was an encouragement to all. It would be hard to even put down on paper what she meant to all of us. She was so kind and loving and accepting of all. Thankfully she went peacefully and in a position she was very familiar with, prayer.
She was at our church for many a year. But then moved away a few years ago so she could be near her family. She came for a visit recently and it was so nice to see her. As I ponder how she looked she didn’t really look any different, she looked great. I am so thankful we all got to see her one last time and that we got to see her how we remember her, full of life.
I remember years ago as I was struggling to homeschool my children. It seemed that there was so much work that was given, especially in math. There were so many problems to accomplish in a day that it would take up most of the morning. It was tough and discouraging.
So as a homeschooling mom and Ruth being a retired teacher she was helpful. I remember when she told me that as a teacher they never finished books. She shared with me that they never did every math problem in each lesson. That took such a stress off of me. I would push my kids way beyond what was necessary so that we could finish the book. And I guess mostly we still finished the book but we would skip some parts, especially in math. What this special lady said to me helped my children and me.
She so much cared for each one in our family as well as everyone around her. When she was here for the visit recently she told me how she still had Valentine’s card that my son, Michael, gave to her. She treasured it. She got to tell my son as well, which was a blessing to him as he heard the news of her death. Many years ago Michael remembers getting a letter from her that was in the shape of a fish he has fond memories of her. She was so caring.
Jeffrey, Aaron, and Caleb also remember getting letters from her. When I asked each one of my young people what they remembered about Ruth, the letters she wrote was their first response. The other thing that stuck out in their minds was when she would preach. She always gave out a paper to each one of the children with 3 or 4 words on it. They were to keep track of how many times she said those words. Then after the service, she would count them and see if they got all the times that she said them. During the week they would get a little card from her with compliments on how they did. It was special to them.
She loved children and helped out at many Vacation Bible Schools. She told the Bible stories and the kids just loved it. One of the things that Jeffrey and Aaron remember is that before she would tell her story she would tell all the children to look at her and stay looking at her. She would point to the bridge of her nose and tell them to keep their eyes there. When someone would quit looking at her she would stop talking until everyone’s full attention was on her.
She also headed up a family class at our church when there were not enough kids to have a division. All the families with children gathered together and she taught them all. She was able to reach from the youngest to the oldest. There was a presence about her that drew everyone’s attention without her saying a word.
My daughter does not remember as much about her as she was younger but one thing I remember is how she opened her home for a baby shower for my daughter. She opened her home many times for many people.
When we first got to know Ruth she was elderly, in her 70’s. But she had a burden for the elderly. She faithfully planned a service once a month at the local care center besides visiting there other times during the week. It seemed to me that even though she had a heart for all people that the elderly had a special place in her heart. I don’t think she really considered herself elderly. She kept her mind until the end and even was still driving, not many can say that.
The other thing that she did was memorize scripture. She could quote whole chapters from the Bible. When she would go to a care center she would often quote from memory large portions Scripture. I can’t remember what it was now but I do remember her quoting a lengthy portion from Scripture for a sermon once. It was so amazing to watch.
Ruth loved music. She never wanted music to be left out. And she loved to sing. There was just one problem. She could not carry a tune and she had no problem admitting to the fact. Although she could not carry a tune I can say it still was not that difficult to sing next to her because she did not sing all over the board like some that can’t carry a tune. She pretty much stuck to one note or maybe two. But it did not stop her from praising the Lord. I, along with many others, are looking forward to the day when we are before the throne of grace and we get to hear the most melodious voice of Ruth. She will be singing with such gratitude to God for His love and mercy.
Being that Ruth was a teacher she was a planner. She even had a plan for her memorial service. Planned out was the songs she wanted, the speaker, the players, the singers, and some of what she wanted said. My son, Caleb and I had the honor of being on her list to sing. We added in my daughter, who Ruth never got a chance to hear sing. When I was asked if we would be willing to sing, I told them how can I say no? It was a great honor.
She was a praying woman, a person of great faith, and she prayed for many!! I can’t imagine how much time she must have spent in prayer. But it had to be a lot because she prayed for so many people. I believe that is one reason she lived to be almost 96 years old. She trusted God implicitly; at least that is how it seemed to me. I’m sure she must have had her time of worry but she sure didn’t show it.
Prayer is the key that opens the storehouse of heaven where God is waiting and willing to pour out His blessings into our lives and Ruth knew that. Even at the end of her life, she was found kneeling by her bed. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the last thing that she was doing before she died was praying. And I believe all her prayers will ascend before the Father continually even though she is resting until He comes.
To me, Ruth was a true hero. She never looked at herself as a hero or even considered herself anyone special. But what made her a hero to me was her connection with Jesus. She reflected the character of Jesus to those around her. Was she perfect? No, she made her mistakes. But she would also humble herself when the Lord spoke to her heart. Humans are not perfect and we should never put people on a pedestal. But sometimes the only Jesus people meet is the Jesus that is reflecting through us. And Ruth was one of those people. She reflected the love of Jesus to all. People felt her love and felt accepted of her. She is resting awaiting the voice of Jesus to call her name. And I know that there are many of us that want to be there when her name is called.
So the question is are you ready? Are you reflecting the love of Jesus to others? The connection that we have with our Heavenly Father is the most important connection that we can have. I know that Ruth wants to see all those she loved in heaven with her. But she also wants to see all those she has never even met. That is just who Ruth was, she loved all. What is our legacy going to be? I pray that I can have a legacy of love.
Comfort those who are hurting. We all miss Ruth but I know her family is hurting the most because of this loss so give them extra special comfort. Thank you for giving Ruth such a long life to share Your love with others. May she rest in peace until You come.
In Jesus Name,
Draw close to Jesus so that you can reflect His love to others.
Love you all.
Did you know Ruth? How did she bless your life?