The precious sisters and I climbed the stairs to the upper room for the last time on Wednesday, completing our study of Ruth, Loss, Love, Legacy. It was a melancholy moment for me. Finishing a project is always a joyous thing. Realizing I won’t be seeing these women in such a setting again is tenderly somber.
Kelly Minter wrote about “the women” who met Naomi when she first arrived back home in Bethlehem (Ruth 1:19). The women were there again at the birth of Obed, Naomi’s grandson and the restorer of her family line (Ruth 4:14). Kelly told about the women in her own life. She wrote,
“They are the women we grew up with, the thick-as-thieves church moms who were there when we were born, performed ridiculous skits at our church retreats, helped us celebrate our birthdays, wrote us a big check for graduation, cried at our weddings . . . They’re the ones who still come scrambling down the church aisle to squeeze the breath out of us when we visit home . . .”
I remember the women who watched me grow up from a preteen girl to an adult wife and mom at the Dixie Valley Church of God in Louisville, Kentucky. There were Pauline Springer, Lavelle May, Gertrude Eversol, Bessie Davis, Aleen Colvin, Janice Popplewell, Pat Phillips, to name a few. They loved me, supported me, encouraged me, forgave me, modeled Jesus for me, and prayed for me. Some of them have gone to their Heavenly reward. Some “still come scrambling down the church aisle to squeeze the breath out” of me when I return to my childhood home church.
I love those women! They probably don’t know how much or how important they were to me, and still are. The memories of their smiles and their love bring warmth to my soul even as I write about them.
Now it’s my turn to be part of that select group, the women, to someone else. It might be a piano student, a child from a Vacation Bible School class, or a teen from the youth group. It might be the daughter of a friend or simply a young woman I have met randomly. Whoever she is, she is looking for someone to love her, encourage her, support her, and pray for her. Someone who will be in her cheering section.
God is calling me, and you dear sister, to be in the band of the women. It is one way we will leave a legacy. A legacy of love and faith. A legacy that will live long after we do. A legacy that honors God.