Today I was blessed to attend my Aunt Ruth’s memorial service in Richmond. She lived a life full of love and faith that will continue to inspire her family and all of us for many years to come. She influenced my Papa in many ways. After their mother died when he was only 14, Aunt Ruth and her sister, Helen, came back home to help raise the younger children (Papa was one of 11 siblings!) From Woodward family stories, my Papa was a real rascal before he came to faith at the age of 18. Aunt Ruth had her hands full! But she was generous with love, encouragement & support she invested in Papa & his younger brothers & sisters — and their children, as my cousins Jamie and Brian (who both flew in from Colorado) shared so poignantly of her role in their lives.
Aunt Ruth’s legacy of love continues through her three daughters – Jann, Melanie and Jill. (I am always so grateful to Jill for saving my life when she jumped in to save this 5-year-old red head drowning in the deep end of their pool in Pennsylvania!!)… and through her beloved grandchildren & great-grandchildren.
What a precious time of sharing – lots of tears from my cousins & their children as they remembered their beautiful mom and grandmother. But joy also permeated the gathering as we remembered the beauty of her life – both inside & out.
Faith anchored Aunt Ruth – through good times and bad. She loved the Scriptures. She read her Bible every day, constantly searching for new truths – she had seven different translations to better understand God’s Word. She filled numerous journals with insights she gleaned about Jesus from her special times in the Scriptures. These last few years, when her mind clouded into the mists of dementia, she would read these journals & say, ‘this is really good, who wrote it?” Even as she forgot many things, she still read the Scriptures every day.
My big brother, Pastor Dean, shared five or six of Aunt Ruth’s favorite Scriptures as he led the service today. He said it was hard to select them, since she had highlighted so many in her seven Bibles!
So today for Lent- in honor of Aunt Ruth & her love for the Scriptures – I got to thinking, what are my favorite Scriptures? Like Aunt Ruth, I have many favorites – but as life verses I would have to choose Psalm 27: 1 & 4..
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? One thing have I desired of the Lord, and that I will seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.”
…and then here’s another favorite to comfort hurting hearts as Aunt Ruth is missed. But God has called her by her precious name.. she is His… & is in His presence now.
“But now, thus says the Lord, He who created you O Jacob, and formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1-3
grace, peace & inspiring aunties