Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Outgoing (05/05/11)
TITLE: The Homecoming of Mary Ellen
By Kathy Stevens
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The air left the room and I forgot to breathe for a minute. It felt as though I would retreat into another world – one where nothing existed – nothing. It is a world that I dare not enter for fear of the pain.
My mind screams, “No, not Mary Ellen!” We have been friends for years – not close friends, but we communicated nearly daily through electronics. I have learned to love and appreciate Mary Ellen, the outgoing, cheerful, wise, woman of God.
She carried love and encouragement for everyone who crossed her path. “I love you, I am praying for you, and everything will be all right,” was her mantra. Even in the worst of times, love and encouragement came spilling out of her with insight for the situation not far behind.
Even the woman who was the waitress when she and her husband went out to eat was devastated when she learned that Mary Ellen would no longer be visiting with her. The love of God oozed out of her every pore and spilled over onto anyone with whom she came in contact.
I can imagine the headlines in heaven. “Mary Ellen Cramer is now disembarking from a golden chariot in the south corridors.” Family and friends are waiting to welcome her home. After a joyful time of seeing those who have gone before her, she will be ushered to the Throne Room of God where she will receive her Robe of Righteousness. Other entitlements will be reserved for another appointed time. All of heaven rejoices at the homecoming of another saint of God.
It does not seem fair that she left the earth so soon with all she had left to give. She was only six years older than I am – too close to my age for my comfort. She had an expansive family whose lives she touched, every one.
I think about the legacy she left. Because she came to the earth, many were saved and will be in heaven with her. Many more are living well and whole because of the easy, outgoing love and wisdom she distributed freely. Modeling love to everyone she met, she was the picture of Jesus in the earth.
When I graduate and go to heaven, I want it to be said of me, as it is of her, “She was outgoing and determined with the love of Jesus everywhere she went and to every life she touched.”
Surely, among other jewels in her crown, she will receive the reward of the faithful servant in Matthew 25:21. “Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many. Enter into the joy of the Lord.”
What a homecoming for Mary Ellen.
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