Mike’s Musings …
What a Long Life of Faithfulness
Proverbs 31 speaks of a virtuous woman whose children rise up and call her blessed. MARY SHANKS was one such woman of virtue. Just eight brief years ago, she, with her daughter Sheila (who died in 2021) and her son Bob could be counted on to sit in the very back row on the south side of the building. Her demeanor was quiet, and yet she remained keenly aware of her reason for gathering with the saints. In more recent years, her health had deteriorated, and she was unable to attend with her customary frequency. However, when the weather was fit and she was able, Bob would push her in her wheelchair the six blocks or so from her home to the meeting house. She enjoyed the outing as much as she enjoyed the worship!
Mary’s faith never wavered! Twice within the past three years, she was a patient at Paoli Health and Living. Though her mental abilities had waned a bit, she remained very conscious of God and would ask about the members of the church at Orleans. When at home, our visits would always include her questions about the members and the work for Christ we employ. Yes, her quiet attitude permitted conversations with Bob about a variety of interests, and she remained attentive to those subjects. Yet, it was obvious that her greatest interest was in God and the church His Son purchased with His blood.
Mary’s longevity has been rightly credited to the exquisite care Bob gave her for many years. Yet, both Bob and Mary would agree it has been God’s mercy that extended her time well beyond the four-score mark of Psalms 90:10. As Peter states, “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (1 Peter 3: 10 – 12) Mary accomplished this feat!
I muse on the wonderful lives of such wonderful souls! God has blessed me with being well acquainted with several precious ones whose lives extend well beyond the four-score years. Some I’ve known saw more than a century of earth life. The most admired of these are Christians who stated as did Paul, “I’d farther rather go be with Jesus … it is far better.” Thus, it behooves us all to muse on just how we live for Him, that we might someday die, having served Him faithfully throughout the days of our lives!