Passionate Lover of Jesus
This was Mary Beth's e-mail address for a number of years, firstname.lastname@example.org Incidentally, mail sent there started coming back to me over a year ago. Sheila, do you have something current? And her e-mail address summed it up pretty well. She didn't choose this moniker to be boastful in any way. MB wouldn't think to do that. She seemed to know God and hear His voice in that intimate way that most only wish for. When she said she would pray for you about something, it was cause for celebration, because you just got the feeling that her prayers counted for double or maybe even triple.
Mary Beth was real. She was fully engaged here on earth, and fully in communion with her Savior at the same time. She taught me a lot about serving, about loving, about showing genuine care and concern. She taught me about listening to people without constantly planning a comeback.
I know this is not fair and unduly sets her up on a pedestal, but that was pretty much how I always felt about her. I had so much respect for her that she intimidated me at times--although she would laugh at such a thought.
Funny. Remember when Mary Beth started her nursing internship and got her stethoscope? She draped it, along with her hospital ID over the rear view mirror of that silver Isuzu Trooper she drove, in very much the same way that all the cool 5th year nursing students did. I distinctly remember realizing that she was proud of those things hanging there and enjoyed showing them off as a status symbol. It stuck in my memory because it was such a surprise; I had never EVER before that seen MB do anything even the remotest bit prideful. It was out of character for her, but the truth was, I was proud of her, too, so I allowed her that one quiet indulgence.
I wish I could have had Mary Beth as a nurse when I was in the hospital having babies. She became a labor and delivery nurse, you know. What an encourager she must have been in that role. Can't you just see her smile, Sheila, her dark, piercing eyes willing you to hang in there during the worst of it?
Of all the people I have lost contact with in recent years, I miss Mary Beth the most.
Alison, sorry this wasn't the humorous anecdote you were anticipating. This just fit my mood better tonight.
It was my turn to share an extended testimony at my Bible study this morning and I shared some pretty tough stuff--tougher than I realized when I was planning it out. It was the first time I've broken down in front of my new friends here in Montana and I had most of them crying, too. It took me by surprise, and I've been quiet and somewhat reflective the rest of the day.
It's good to have friends you can cry with. I didn't learn that until my last couple of years in Vancouver, just in time to say good-bye. I guess I'm glad that I can do that now. The women in this Bible study--how special they are becoming to me, and so quickly.
Crying again. Don't know why, but I don't complain. I spent too many years of my life dry, no tears to shed whatsoever. I seem to be making up for it now.
Elliana says that crying helps get the sadness out. I didn't teach her this, but she's right.