“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV)
I’ve been spending the last week at my sister’s house in the New England. Most of my extended family lives here so we try to visit once a year. Over the years my children have gotten to know my sister’s neighbor Miss Virginia. She’s lived next door in the same house for sixty or more years. My sister and brother-in-law have taken care of her over the years shoveling her snow or cutting her lawn. As she’s aged my sister helped bathe her and shopped for her. They have sent over meals and helped Miss Virginia in any way they could. They have become a second family to her. So when we came to visit, Miss Virginia always knew.
Miss Virginia met my oldest son when he was about four years old. He called her Miss Baginia. She immediately fell in love with his gentle mannerism and his ability to hold a conversation with anyone. After their first meeting, she was hooked. So, each time we visited, she asked for Nathan to come over. Accompanied by his cousin Josh, Nathan would visit Miss Baginia. She always had a bag of goodies waiting for the boys with a dollar, an apple and some cookies. When Jonah and Karoline were old enough, they too went over to visit Miss Baginia always coming home with their bag. When we would visit in the summer, she found her way outside and always commented on how big they were getting. One year, Jonah (age 5) looked at her and said, “You are really old. You are going to die soon.” She laughed, appreciating his honesty. She too was an “honest” woman offending her fair share of people over the years.
Miss Baginia doesn’t live next door anymore. Her 96 year old mind was becoming confused so a month ago she went to a nursing home. She fought it. She wanted to stay in her home. But she needed more care than she could get at home, so she left. Today she died. Actually, she went to meet Jesus. She knew Him well. She shared the gospel with every person who entered her home. The nurses who took care of her most definitely heard about her Savior. Although she wasn’t able to attend church for several years, she never forgot the One who saved her.
We will miss her. We’ve known her for a long time. We know she’s no longer sick. She’s no longer sad. No, Miss Baginia isn’t alone anymore. She’s surrounded by choirs of angels praising her Savior. Goodbye Miss Baginia.