Until

Published on Jul 27th, 2016 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Until

Until

Last night God called one of our own to come home to be with him. Edna Ordonez was a very valuable member of our local church. Her ministry of prayer and cards touched many people. One of the most encouraging conversations I have had with anyone in ministry was when Edna spoke with me about the card ministry she was going to start. Her determination to be used by God in the lives of others was inspiring. God used her powerfully in the lives of many people. I was often on the receiving end of one of Edna’s cards. I can’t tell you one thing those cards said but I remember Edna’s shaky signature at the end. It was just a reminder that I had one person who believed it was important to pray for me and my family.

I had the privilege of seeing Edna this past Monday. She was sitting next to her bed in the hospital and she could not get warm. She was shivering and struggling to catch her breath. My goal was to simply pray with her, read some Scripture, and let her rest. They had just given her some medicine and she was struggling to keep her eyes open. Ever Edna, she had to go through the list of my family members and members of the church to see how everyone was doing. She kept apologizing for closing her eyes and I kept asking if I could get her a blanket. None of that would deter her from trying to make the conversation about me. To the end, Edna was seeking to minister to others.

If you met Edna you might have been tempted to walk away and say something like, “What a sweet old lady.” You would have almost been right. Edna was up in years and she definitely was a lady. It was the sweet part that I might stumble on just a little bit. She was kind and cared for others but she was a tough lady. You could hear it in the stories of when she was in the work force and you would experience her toughness if you ever asked her opinion about something. She would speak clearly and strongly about what she believed was right and then look at me and say, “But what do you think, Pastor?” Often when people ask me that they simply want me to agree with them so that they can measure my spirituality by how much I agree with them. Edna, though, really wanted to hear what I thought and what the Bible had to say. She was a strong women but also had a great desire to be obedient to the Word of God. One of the funniest things about Edna was her willingness to be honest about herself, others, and you. She just simply had a gift for being honest about people without it coming across as judgmental or mean. She may not like this or that about you but she still cared about you. It made is much easier to accept what was said.

I have had few people in my life who would consistently remind me that they were praying for me. They would share with me what they were praying about, or they would continually ask me what I needed prayer for. Three of those people are now with Jesus. My dad, Bruno, and now Edna. There is a great hole in my life because of their home going but the Bible tells me to rejoice with those who rejoice. I know they are rejoicing and so I feel joy for them. One of the great truths that God has shared with us is that we do not have to say good bye. We can say “Until.” Until we meet again. Edna is safely in the arms of the one she loved so dearly and so we rejoice with her and wait patiently to see her again. I also believe Edna might leave us with a challenge… who will be the encourager at JBC now? Who will pick up where Edna left off and be the prayer warrior we all need in our lives?

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