Sunday, September 3, 2017


Today, I honor a woman I never met
but whose life and death
have greatly impacted my life.

through a mutual friend,
I prayed for her,
her husband,
and her children
before I ever thought it possible that
I would one day become a part
of that same family.

For many reasons,
I wish I had known her personally.
But I have learned about her
through her husband and children;
her mother, sister, and nieces and nephews;
her step-daughter and parents-in-law;
and through some of the many friends she had.
All people that we now share.

I have learned of a godly woman
who sought to serve her God and Saviour
above all.
I have learned of a loving wife.
I have learned of a devoted, excellent mother.
I have learned of a sister who was a dear, close friend.
I have learned of a caring daughter.
I have learned of a brilliant, dedicated, kind teacher,
an award winning educator.
I have learned of a compassionate friend.

In the beginning,
I was intimidated by this virtuous, nearly perfect woman.
But over time,
the stories have changed,
become more intimate,
and I learned of another woman.

I learned that she was sassy, and funny, and opinionated.
I learned that she could be stubborn.
I learned that she liked to shop -
especially for antiques, Christmas decor, and future gifts.
I learned that she was sometimes insecure.
I learned that she was thoroughly modern in her lifestyle -
and old-fashioned.
I learned that she liked to do things a certain way -
and that's the way they were done.
I learned that she was very private.
I learned that she was protective of her own people
and let others into the inner circle carefully.
I learned that she was extra-ordinary -
and extremely ordinary.
Not so different from me.

But what I learned most thoroughly
was that she deeply loved some of the people
I most deeply love,
and that she was and is deeply loved by them.

On this day that marks her loss
and the passing of time,
I am grateful for this fine woman,
this virtuous follower of God,
this loving wife,
this devoted mother
who has left a legacy that has changed my life.
The woman she was,
made them the people they are.
I am profoundly grateful!

I never met Judy Newton.
But the pebble she cast in the lake of her life
has rippled out
and touched me deeply.

As I pray my Lanny Love
and bonus children through this day,
I am filled with awe
that our loving God so richly blessed
them with life with Judy;
that He so richly blessed her with life with them;
and that the loss they feel so keenly today
is only temporary
for they will meet again one day in Heaven!

I am filled with awe
that God has so richly blessed me
with these people she so cherished,
and I pledge that I will
always love them,
always cherish them,
always treat them in a way that would please her.

No, I did not know Judy.
But today,
I honor the woman who,
through her ripples,
changed lives.
Including mine.

Until we meet in Heaven......

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
and there will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain, 
because all the old ways are gone.
                                                                      ~~ Revelation 21:4