One of my favorite people passed away on Friday and today I will be going to her funeral service. My wife and I affectionately referred to Lydia as the "coolest old person." She was a marvelous person and we will greatly miss seeing her every week at church.
I found Lydia to be so special because she was always so encouraging. She encouraged me as a youth pastor. She encouraged me as a seminary student. She encouraged me when I preached. She encouraged me when I led worship. Whenever she saw my guitar she would ask me: "Are you going to play for me today?"
I also loved how Lydia related to people regardless of their age or place. She would strike up a conversation with the other seniors in the church as well as with the youth. Her comfort level with everyone is a model that I am trying to emulate. I think that her persistent smile and winsome manner are what ingratiated her to everyone. I cannot remember ever seeing her when she was in a bad mood.
But the last year or so had been extremely hard on Lydia. You could see it in her face and in her demeanor. It was obvious that she was slowing down and having great difficulty. Yet that smile was still on her face every time I saw her at church. The woman that would be at church every Sunday suddenly started to miss church more and more. At 93 years old she finally lost her battle with a tumor and pneumonia.
It is very sad to see such an example of how to act like Christ pass from this world. I will miss her greatly.
But it is very joyous to know that she is now with the very person that she emulated. While there will be sadness for us while we celebrate her life, it will be wonderful to know that her new life in heaven will be a great celebration.
Lydia, my wife and I are so glad that you are living in the splendor of the King and singing how great is our God.