Sunday Faith Blog

“Goodbye, Muriel, and thank you.”  This amazing woman Muriel was my Christian mentor.   She was the closest thing to a saint that I’ve ever met in my life.  Ever.   And you, too, by the way;  trust me.

She was a nurse, then a counselor.  People came to her through word of mouth, many Christians and some non Christians.  I always felt badly for the non Christians because she was an angel and for any Christian either on the fence or strong in their faith, this woman was an example of perfection on this earth and used Scripture so well to help in any situation you could imagine…scripture and wisdom of her own.   Yes, I don’t use the word perfection easily, but if you knew her………..She was a counselor and she became my very, very dear friend.

She died of a stroke about 2 weeks ago.   Her daughter asked me on the phone “Did my mother tell you she’d like you to sing at the services?”   I was stunned.  No, I had never heard that.  But I did sing.  Yesterday.  People spoke about Muriel at the service, and strangers who work the church and heard it (audio/visual, janitors, etc.) approached me and said “Was this woman as amazing as those people said??”

“Yes.”  Simply yes.  But much more so, I told them.

senior saints

Muriel was a Bible study teacher and her heart was particularly with Jews and bringing them to Christian faith.  She was kind, loving, caring, understanding, non judgmental, humble, funny, deeply in the Word, encouraging beyond belief…she saved marriages, helped with alcohol and drug abuse issues, problems with children, helped new widows with astonishing wisdom; never forceful, always gentle, always insightful…….I could go on and on….She seemed absolutely perfect, but her son-in-law, the pastor who did the service, said that, at 91, she’d told him she had things in her personality which she needed to work on to better please the Lord. She wasn’t finished.  But God apparently knew she was.

She often told me that no one dies until it’s in God’s time….she died at 92, and I have to thank God for not taking this amazing woman earlier than he did, painlessly, and quickly; he finally got her where he wants her, after using her in the most precious ways to be there for others.  Good job, God!  Thanks for your patience!  We were blessed for it!

On the cover of her funeral service program:

“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen!”    Jude 24-25

The other side of the program included my name as  the Prelude player (as folks walked in I played about 20 minutes of music), and soloist/pianist on 2 songs.   I’ll never be more honored.   And I’ll never stop missing her.

She encouraged.  She loved.  I’m writing this to you today to encourage you to love and support and care and help others.

For Muriel.

Happy Sunday.

Z

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23 Responses to Sunday Faith Blog

  1. It seems both of us have lost a close saint recently.
    You write “Good job, God!”.
    Well, Good job, Muriel! Well done though good and faithful servant.
    As I wrote about my brother-in-law Bob, (a man who challenged your notion that I would never meet another saint like her) I thought of how many other unremarked saints there were like him (and Muriel), quietly doing God’s work, pleasing their Lord.
    It’s encouraging to know they are out there.
    It’s good to actually know them.

  2. Mal says:

    Everyone should have a saint like Muriel, Z. Maybe we do but not realize it because we haven’t been open and accepting of them. I’ve had many people who have touched my life in different ways but not to the extent she has touched yours. I may have met an angel a couple of times in my life but not realized it until later when recounting the incident. Some think they walk among us. Perhaps they do. I believe Muriel confirms that.

  3. Mustang says:

    This may be the most wonderful tribute I have ever read. Truly.

  4. silverfiddle says:

    What a beautiful tribute. Isn’t it amazing how God can bless us so by putting such people in our lives? My condolences to you.

  5. geeez2014 says:

    Mustang, I got teary when I read your comment.

    Ed…..that must be Scherie’s brother? Oh, I am so sorry.

    Mal, I think she did, too…what a wonderful thought. Thanks.

    SF: SUCH a blessing. And thank you.

    I visited her almost every single week for five years….it was like a refuge for me, particularly when Mr. Z became ill and then passed away so unexpectedly. Some days, I’d walk in very tired, very worried….heavy. I’d knock, she’d call “Come on in!!” and she’d have come half way to meet me, standing there in the living room with her arms open as I approached and would say “WELCOME! I’m so GLAD you’re here and we can talk!” What a feeling to know she was there like that!

    And she’d say “Go grab a water bottle from the refrigerator for yourself!” So, I’d get one and would never be able to open it, and I’d walk into the back room where we’d sit and chat and hand it to this woman in her late eighties and she’d unscrew it in a second!!!

    Though we became grand friends (such an HONOR), I’d want to pay her for my visits because her other visitors were on that basis, but she would never let me….If I wrote a check to her, she’d say “Thank you! This is going to a missionary I’ve been thinking about!” If I started to get up after an hour, she’d ask “Where are you going? I have more time…”

    She loved me in ways I’ll never be loved again. We must all love others like that if we can. Yes, we ‘must’.

    Your comments here all mean a lot to me. THANK YOU. It’s wonderful to think others know of Muriel now, too!

  6. Ray Cole says:

    Paul wrote:

    Since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, this is the reason that I don’t stop giving thanks to God for you when I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation that makes God known to you. I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God’s call, what is the richness of God’s glorious inheritance among believers, and what is the overwhelming greatness of God’s power that is working among us believers. This power is conferred by the energy of God’s powerful strength.
    Ephesians 1:15-19

    It’s as if God answered Paul’s prayer in your friend. God bless her and keep her and may he comfort you in her passing.

  7. Sparky says:

    Gosh, that brought tears to my eyes Z. What a sweet blessing you are to be able to recognize good (or evil) in others. That’s a gift too, you know. Plus, you keep us informed about current events in a common sense way. That makes you a saint too. 🙂 Just think, though, your dear friend and our sister in Christ is with Him now forever. No more pain. No more suffering. No more displeasing God. I rejoice with you that Muriel is now with the One who loves us best. I look forward to meeting her in Heaven (and you too).
    Hope your day is blessed.

  8. Imp says:

    After reading this… I feel as if I was touched by an Angel. Thank You.

  9. alec says:

    What a wonderful friend Z. So sorry for your loss.

  10. geeez2014 says:

    Oh, my gosh, your comments are making me cry! THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart….
    Yes, she really WAS THAT WONDERFUL, a gift from God to all who knew her…..

    I’m going to send my link to her daughter; maybe she’d like to read it and, particularly, your comments. THANK YOU, everyone.
    God bless.

  11. baysider says:

    You once told me how much she was in the Word. Your beautiful tribute demonstrates how that brings us to reflect Jesus. The deepest tribute we can pay is to follow in her footsteps – as you’ve asked. Thank you for sharing this tenderly with us.

  12. geeez2014 says:

    baysider, I often use the word MAGIC and don’t much get concerned that MAGIC is a word some Christians balk at …. I get that. But yes, it WAS ‘magical’ , and is, to know people who really stay in the Bible and know their stuff ….they become DIFFERENT….DEEPER, KINDER, LESS JUDGMENTAL, MORE OF EVERYTHING GOOD. …it’s the Christians who start with love in their hearts and live a life of following Him who best speak for Him. (you may quote me :-)) When I say MAGIC, I mean “SOMETHING OTHER WORDLY HAPPENS, SOMETHING ONE CAN’T REALLY DESCRIBE NO MATTER WHAT.”

    To describe it would take the MAGIC from it…..it’s God’s magic…

  13. geeez2014 says:

    http://alecsatin.com/for-all-the-saints-who-from-their-labors-rest/#comment-356

    that’s Alec’s blog today….the lyrics of the Lutheran hymn he’s posted are SO true about Muriel..enjoy!

  14. Kid says:

    Yes, such a beautiful tribute. I’m glad you had her as your friend and mentor.

  15. I said goodbye to my teaching mentor in April 2009 and managed to say a few words without breaking down and sobbing. Had it not been for this wonderful woman, I’d have walked away from teaching because of such a bad experience in the public school system. She managed to persuade me to try teaching at her private Christian school for one month to see if I wanted to teach again, and I stayed for 18 years. I’d still be there now — except that the school closed 18 years ago.

    The woman was also a spiritual mentor to me. She walked the walk in a practical way — and taught me to do the same by putting my hand to the plow (teaching tasks) and then relying on the Lord to take care of the rest. “Cast thy bread upon the waters.”

    I still miss her and that school!

  16. Bob says:

    What a wonderful thing it is to have known someone such as Muriel. Sometimes when things seem too tough to handle, people like Muriel show up to point the way. I have heard it said that God will bring people into your life at different times for different purposes. I believe it, and have known people who led me in the right direction. Life is tough, and God gives us these people to love and help us along the way.

  17. Z.
    Which songs did you play? Which did you sing?

  18. geeez2014 says:

    Thanks, Kid.

    AOW….I SO miss the Christian school where I worked…like CRAZY, I miss it. I’ll sub there from time to time, but it’s not the same….I’m glad you had this wonderful woman in your life, too.

    Bob…amazing you should say that…I’d wanted to meet Muriel about 2 years before I did…but she’d fallen and hurt her back. Suddenly, about 2 years later I was told “She’d like to see you”….So I went! “She’d like to SEE MEEEE?”!! Who knew that it would be almost exactly a year before my Mr. Z would die? She got me through the worries during the period of odd symptoms/tests, and a very long diagnosis period and then through his very unexpected passing….he was supposed to have had 2 years….and didn’t. He didn’t wake up the next morning after a simple procedure at Cedars….

    SO, she got me through. Oh, brother, DID SHE. Lots of truths, lots of praying, lots of her own experiences/wisdom with her beloved husband’s passing about 14 years before mine……..total TIMING…absolutely.

  19. geeez2014 says:

    AOW, she did the picking…I knew the melody of one is CHILDREN OF THE HEAVENLY FATHER but the words were this: It’s a Swedish/Lutheran hymn:

    More Secure Is No One Ever by Lina Sandell Berg

    (1) More secure is no one ever
    than the loved ones of the Savior —
    Not yon star on high abiding
    Nor the bird in home-nest hiding.
    (2) God His own doth tend and nourish,
    In His holy courts they flourish;
    Like a father kind He spares them,
    In His loving arms He bears them.
    (3) Neither life nor death can ever
    From the Lord His children sever,
    For His love and deep compassion
    Comforts them in tribulation.
    (4) Little flock, to joy then yield thee!
    Jacob’s God will ever shield thee;
    Rest secure with this Defender —
    At His will all foes surrender.
    (5) What He takes or what He gives us
    Shows the Father’s love so precious;
    We may trust His purpose wholly —
    ‘Tis His children’s welfare soley.

    The other was completely new to me (melody and lyrics):

    Enjoy! A friend came in on the chorus of this with harmony….it went great.

  20. geeez2014 says:

    AOW…by the way, thanks for asking. Sang the video song….and accompanied myself..Alley came in on the chorus….She played the Swedish one for me and I solo’d that myself.
    And I forgot to answer what I played for the prelude…about 20 minutes…You know, the regulars; A MIGHTY FORTRESS, IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL, BE STILL MY SOUL, GOD OF GRACE AND GOD OF GLORY, ….stuff like that…Oh, and Bach

    I’m glad I looked this up because it’s so beautiful in this rendition..obviously, mine was a piano arrangement.

  21. Z, I just saw War Room.
    The protagonist sounds very similar to the Muriel you describe.
    It may be the best Kendricks Bros movie yet.

  22. bunkerville says:

    So sorry Z to learn of your sorrow at this time.

  23. geeez2014 says:

    Thanks, Bunk.

    Ed, Just saw the trailer on line….I’m eager to see it. Muriel was very, very special and different. That Black Prayer Warrior lady looks great, too!

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