Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ZEST (10/01/15)
- TITLE: Shine Brightly, Mrs. Gainey Style
By Alisha Ritchie
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“…Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
Philippians 2:15-16 (NIV)
On my very first visit to Mrs. Gainey’s* home, I made a dramatic entrance by knocking over the coat rack as I entered the door, but she made a dramatic impact on my heart that will last forever. My physical therapy patient lived in a humble five room house that was filled to the brim with stuff, wall to wall clutter. For all intents and purposes, she was confined to her wheelchair, unable to walk except for very short distances. She was a little hefty, adorned disheveled “bed head” hair, and wore no makeup but she was the most beautiful person I have ever met.
Despite her dismal circumstances of being in poor health, confined to a dirty house, and in financial chaos, Mrs. Gainey’s spirit never tarnished. Every day when I went to work with her on exercises and standing tolerance, she greeted me with a smile, seemingly more concerned with how my day had been than she was about herself. She never, in our almost year-long relationship, complained about the dark clouds that seemed to persistently haunt her. Instead, she talked about her faith in Jesus, as evidenced by Scripture verses she wrote on sticky notes and placed in various parts of the house. She asked me questions about my family and loved to talk about basketball. She shared memories of fun adventures passed and never seemed bitter some family members didn’t have time to visit now that she was homebound.
No, Mrs. Gainey focused on positive things like church friends coming to visit, bringing communion since she was unable to attend service. She counted her blessings daily and made sure I knew about them too. And in her very last days, between labored breaths while lying in a Hospice facility, she voiced peace with God’s will, knowing she only had days left to live on earth. She was content with her situation and remained diligent as a powerful witness of God’s love and compassion by her interactions with others. Her passion and zest for life guided her in being a light for Jesus, even in the worst possible situations. No matter how many clouds threatened to dim her horizon, Mrs. Gainey shined bright like a star, casting His light on all she came in contact with.
Today, shine like a bright star for God in this dark world. Don’t let anyone or anything snuff out the radiant light He has given you to share.
“Heavenly Father, thank you for the blessings, great and small, You have given me. Help me not to focus on my circumstances but to keep my eyes solely fixated on You. Guide me in turning over any sin that might hinder my light for You. Provide me with strength to shine for You until Jesus returns and bathes the whole world in His radiant glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
*Name changed for privacy.
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