Monday, January 3, 2011

The Jesus-loves-you lady died a few days ago.

I never knew her real name, nor did any of my fellow grocery store employees except the one bagger who was distantly related to her and through whom we learned of her sudden death. Yet everyone recognized her the minute she came through our lines because she ended every transaction with the same "Jesus loves you" declaration...every time, every shopping trip. She never failed.

Although at first a little awkward, her faithful proclamations soon made her an endearing figure about the place. Sometimes one bagger in particular would see her coming and blurt out her message before she ever got a chance to, almost as a form of greeting. And I realized that eventually she didn't need to say it at all - she was so linked to those three words that the mere sight of her delivered the message without her even having to open her mouth. Clearly she had accomplished her mission on this earth, so the Jesus Who loved her simply gathered her in His arms one day shortly before Christmas and took her on Home, a reminder to those of us she leaves behind that when our to-do list is likewise complete, we can surely expect the same.

"But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."
(Acts 20:24 RSV)

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