I want to take an opportunity to honor a hero. Early this week, her broken body stopped operating; she took her last breath and entered the presence of the Lord Jesus, now absent from her body, but present with her Lord face to face.
Tomorrow is her funeral service. There will be no news reporters or video cameras. People in this world of supposed great importance will not take time out of their busy schedules to even give her life a thought. To many of them, hers was a life wasted. She spent it serving the Lord in her church, witnessing to others, and caring for her children, one of which is autistic. There will be no recognition from government officials, no military funeral. However, she does deserve a military funeral; she was a faithful solider of the Lord Jesus and an outstanding citizen of the kingdom. Yet her funeral will be simple — some friends and family will gather and thank God for the years that He graciously gave her.
I never got to meet Linda. But I owe much to her life and ministry.
Some 35 years ago, my Father was influenced by the witness of this faithful lady. At the time he was a university student, living a godless life. He was lost in darkness, spiritually blind and enslaved by sin. Linda worked in the same store as my Dad. Each Christmas she would give him a card with Bible verses. He would read them over and over again — he could not bring himself to throw those cards away. He always says that Linda could not always explain his questions, but he couldn’t begin to explain her life. She planted the seeds of the gospel that the Holy Spirit would later use to bring my Dad to salvation in Jesus Christ.
I want to thank Linda for faithfully witnessing to my Father. It is easy to go to work and never open your mouth about Jesus, simply hoping that your Christian actions will be testimony enough to the saving power of Christ — it is a much harder thing to do both. That’s what Linda did. She not only modeled a genuine Christian life, but she was willing to speak it to others.
The following is a section from a note that I tried to get to Linda before she died. I trust she got to hear this.
Thank you for choosing the hard path – the path that sometimes leads to suffering, shame, and mockery. Thank you for bearing your cross. Thank you for not wasting your life, but for using it for God’s work. In some sense, I owe my life to your ministry. I wish my words were an adequate portrayal of my grattitude toward you – but they just can’t seem to capture how much I am thankful for you.
My friend Sam posted this song not long ago — it expresses my thoughts on Linda and her ministry to the Lord.