Monday, July 18, 2011

Shining for Jesus

No man dies before his time.
~ Yiddish Proverb

This is not the occasion I anticipated for returning for a post. I write to ask for prayers for the family of one of the brightest lights for Jesus I've had the privilege to know—my sister-in-law Stephanie.

Stephanie met my brother Michael at a rehabilitation center for the blind. Michael lost his sight through degenerative disease, Stephanie through a traumatic accident. They fell in love and got married. They had the courage to have three children in a society that often values neither children nor those called handicapped.

Michael and Stephanie have endured numerous hardships, which would have challenged the best of us. The latest one was Stephanie's battle with cancer. When I spoke with her last month just after she played the keyboard for worship service, she didn't voice concern for herself, or even her family. As the cancer ravaged her, she said she just wanted to make sure she was shining for Jesus.

She was still uncomplaining yesterday—unless you count the fact that the pain brought her to tears, and to request, "Can somebody please do something for me?" God answered that prayer, and finally called her home.

Some might say that she died too soon, before she fulfilled the purpose of raising her children.

She heard a call to a purpose higher yet, of shining for Jesus. She well fulfilled that purpose in the time on earth appointed to her.

I ask that you please keep her husband and three children in your prayers, and ask the Lord to comfort them with the knowledge that Stephanie did not die before her time.

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I appreciate your understanding for no replies to comments. I remain on vacation from blogging while I return to Colorado this week to be with family.
~ Anne