This past week I found out that a very dear lady in my life passed away. When I got the call telling me that my dear friend had gone to Heaven my heart pondered her passing and rejoiced at her home going. I also pondered her life.
She first came into my life during my fourth grade year in elementary school. She was my teacher. The hardest teacher I ever had. She loved assigning homework! She was a stickler in spelling! How many times she could be heard asking the question, "Would Jesus has done that?" How soft her hands were! So many times I remember feeling her hands touch my shoulders as she would lean over to help me at my desk. I remember watching her play the piano as we sang our songs during Bible class. Her hands played with such enthusiasm - songs of praise to the Lord. (God's Time - Is Always Right was a favorite of hers - I am sure!).
I loved her stories! I remember as she would tell us stories of her days in Africa as a missionary teacher in Nigeria. How she could bring Africa to our classroom with her stories! It was as if I could see the African boys and girls right there in our classroom as she told how they carried their water, or worked as housekeepers in her home. I have replayed her stories so many times. It was through her stories my heart grew tender towards missions.
No other person has had as big of an impact on my life as Mrs. Glessner. It was she, who through her passion for Christ, cultivated a heart within me to do something for God. Oh how she loved her Savior! Because of her love for God, she knew how to love. I knew it as a nine year old little girl sitting in a wooden desk, as assuredly as I know it now - she LOVED me!
She prayed for me! Perhaps her first prayers for me began when I was a student in her small fourth grade class; but I know her prayers for me have continued throughout the years. How I will miss knowing that she is praying for me!
In junior high she tutored me in English. It was perhaps sitting at her dining room table two afternoons a week that I grew to know her better. How we poured over the grammar books! I looked forward to just being with her. I loved sitting next to her and feeling her arm wrap around the back of my chair as she leaned close to me and helped me with the grammar that so often evaded my knowledge. Though the years of tutoring, she gave me a love for writing and English that only could have been passed down through personal hours of interaction. I will forever be in her debt.
It was my dear teacher who did the devotional at my bridal shower weeks before I was to be married. How "in her element" she was as she talked to me about becoming a wife to the husband God had given me. How she talked of the stories that filled her heart and marriage as a new bride. She was now passing on wisdom to me - even years after being a widow herself. How I will cherish her advice...
As I looked at her picture on the front of memorial card - I was amazed at how full of life her eyes were. I was drawn to her eyes a year ago when I was back for a visit. She looked absolutely lovely - and in love - with her Saviour. I am so thankful that my children were able to meet this Christian saint. They were so excited to meet her; as they had heard me tell so many stories about her during our English lessons at home. They were given the opportunity that day to meet a great Christian.
As I pondered her passing, I wondered what it was like when she stepped onto Heaven's shore. Oh how bright her eyes must have shown the moment she saw the face of her Saviour! She had waited so long for Him! How long she must have embraced Him - I know there were tears running down her cheeks as she sang His praises. I am sure that there were tears also upon His cheeks as He welcomed home one so dear! ("Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints...") "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter..."
Oh what rejoicing in His presence, when are vanished grief and pain, when the crooked ways are straightened and the dark things shall be plain. Face to face ...
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant..."
Thank You - Mrs Glessner. My life will never be the same - You made a difference! You ran your race - you finished your course - - you challenged my faith.