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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today I Said Good-Bye to a True Saint

 Elmira Delery was a true Christian. I know that she was, because Jesus said that “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” If you knew anything about Elmira, you knew that she knew how to show the love of Christ. At her Homegoing service on Saturday, February 26, 2011, story after story was shared, testifying about her sacrificial love for her family and church. There were funny stories, touching stories, powerfully inspiring stories. There were lots of stories because Elmira Delery knew how to love, and she loved us all so well.

If you were down and out, Elmira would take you in, so she could pick you back up. If you were sick and shut-in, she would jump in her car and travel to you and nurse you back to health. If she thought you were hungry, she would make you the best food this side of heaven. If you were broke and in need, she would joyfully and sacrificially give. If she thought you needed a miracle she would pray the Red Sea open for you. If you had a question and God hid the answer deep inside His hidden counsel, her wise words would put you at rest to trust in God.

Elmira was one special lady. She was elegant. She was graceful like a doe. She was wise. She was beautiful all the time. She loved and she cared. She was bold enough to dare to believe in God even in the hardest of times. She really was one of a kind. She loved the Lord, and He loved her, and everyone near was blessed with the overflow.

During her homegoing service, one of our dear seniors and my nine year old little girl both said, “We are really going to miss her.” We all are going to miss her because there is soooo much to miss. That’s what makes saying good-bye to her (for now) so hard, but let me try:

Elmira, in life you were so beautiful, beautiful in every way. As you aged, you were so graceful, and all of us wanted you to stay. But in death we know that your spirit soars, that you are being satisfied and filled with the richness of Christ’s love. So perhaps the best way to say good-bye is to remember why we cry, to remember your legacy, and to embrace the lessons of your life. You taught us many things both in words and deeds, lessons like “It is always better to give than to receive.” We’ll remember how you lived, how you loved, and how you gave. And most of all, I pray that we will remember what you believed. You believed that Jesus loved you, enough to die and to rise up from the dead to give you eternal life. So in actuality, this doesn’t have to be a good-bye, because if we, like you, love Jesus, then we’ll have our reunion in the sky.

We’ll miss you, Sister Delery, and for now, good-bye.

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