Saturday, January 7, 2012

Seeds of Encouragement By Wendy Custer

I recently discovered that a dear woman that I knew briefly had passed away. She entered my life in 1999 when she and her husband called me to paint a mural in their home. As usual, when I am preparing to work for someone, I had several days to get to know them before I spent time in their home. I discovered that Nancy hosted a prayer group, and I had the privilege of listening to her, and the ladies in that group, faithfully lift up every prayer request in their church while I worked one day. It was like painting in the throne room of God!

My oldest son was two years old at the time, and I remember being a bit sleep deprived during those days. I showed up at Nancy's house one of the mornings during her job with tears in my eyes. Immediately concerned about my distress, she welcomed me in ready to listen and, when she heard my young mother's guilt from fussing at my little boy, she smiled knowingly. Nancy offered no advice, but gave me the best encouragement a person can offer; she sent me to the feet of the Lord. Providing me with a Bible, a notepad, a pen, and a cup of tea, Nancy sent me to her back porch, a place of tranquility, to pray. I don't remember what I read or wrote that day, but I do remember that I was encouraged, and I remember that I found peace!

Nancy and her husband, Gary, had a beautiful home and lovely landscaping. As a want-to-be gardener, I am always admiring plants. On my last day, as Nancy walked me out to my car, I asked about the name of some of her flowers. Instead of just telling me about them, she put some of the seeds from the purple Columbine into a bag for me to take home and plant. It was just like Nancy to give me something real that could grow and flourish instead of a short answer that would fade quickly!

I pray that I can be the kind of encourager that God created in my special friend. It was many years after I met Nancy that God placed on my heart the calling to be an encourager, but He certainly used her life to plant the seeds. It is a joy to know that she is now resting in His eternal peace! I am quite confident that she has heard the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. . . For we are co-workers in God's service; you are God's field, God's building.
1 Corinthians 3: 6,9

1 comment:

  1. Nancy entered my life in 1978, when I became a 3rd grade member of the Sunday School she taught. What you experienced in your weeks in her home is the way she lived her life. It's what everyone experienced in her presence whether there for a few moments, a few years or decades.

    Thank you for this wonderful story. Her absence is felt, but her legacy is enduring.
    Stephanie Lee