I sat across from her at the Wednesday night Lenten supper. She had struggled to get to the table, but carried her own plate and glass with independence written all over her face. She looked to be around 80, give or take 5 years. It seems the older I get, the harder time I have guessing someone's age.
When she decided to get up for a second helping of the "sooo good lasagna" her spry husband asked if she needed help. She replied firmly, "No I am just fine. I can do this myself." I detected just a hint of a Scandinavian accent behind that slightly irritated voice. Inside I was smiling. She reminded me of my mother-in=law, who has gone to be with Jesus. I knew little about this woman, but was soon to learn more.
When it was just the two of us left at the table, she began to talk about when she was a young woman. She had gone to nursing school, and after graduating she got on a train from her home in North Dakota and traveled to Billings MT. From there she had to take a smaller freight train to a town in western Nebraska where she worked at a hospital that now no longer exists. The train would stop once in awhile to pick up sheepherders along the way. She went on to tell me that people would come into the local store and buy 100lbs. of sugar, 200lbs of potatoes, flour, etc. to last them the winter, because they would not be able to get out once the heavy snows came.
She left her home, all that was familiar, and got on a train to a new place where the snow kept people captive on their ranches til Spring. She stayed nearly two years, until a young man she had left behind, came to ask for her hand in marriage. The man she said yes to sat by her side at the Wednesday night Lenten supper. Still sitting by her side so many, many years later as they walk hand in hand in faithfulness to God.
Every created life is a story in the making. I was blessed to listen to a faithful servant tell some of her story last night. No matter how short or how long, there is a story that cries out to be heard. A life that longs to be remembered long after ashes have returned to ashes.
I wrote the above last night. This morning I opened Ann Voskamp's blog to a post written by Michelle Cushatt who has just written a book called, "Undone". Going over to Michelle's cyber home, I saw the title of a post she had written Tuesday...."When A Life Becomes A Story". I just love how God joins people together in the written word. Everyone God has created has a story to tell. My story. Your story. His story. HIStory. Have you shared yours? To God be the glory!