Below is a post I wrote in September 2010. I am reposting it today in honor of Edee. This week I attended her funeral and while I wish the end of this story was not such an early goodbye, I also know that the very hope she gave me in Jesus is the same hope I carry now knowing that I will see her again in Heaven.
What you need to know about Edee is that she simply lived her life with love and grace. She never did anything grandious or ostentatious and yet God used her life in precious ways. Sometimes we try to seek a spotlight or a stage, but Edee reminds me that Jesus is often found in the ordinary moments of love and grace.
About 25 years ago my best friend’s mom gave me my first Bible. I had just met Jesus at summer camp and was so hungry to know more about him and what impact he could have on my life. My family home did not have one Bible in it and even at that young age, I knew that there was a plan and a purpose for my life. I was desperate to discover what the Bible had to say about that.
My friend, Kristi, and her mom, Edee, came to my rescue. They went to the local Christian bookstore and bought me a blue New Testament. I was SO excited! I literally took it home and over the course of the next year I read the whole thing…as an elementary student.
After I was finished with that one, it would again be Edee who would buy me another Bible, this time with the Old Testament included! And again, in a year’s time, I finished reading that Bible as well. It was the beginning of a deep love affair for the Word of God that would infiltrate my life for the next quarter of a century. It would be the catalyst for a list of good decisions and the basis of my calling into ministry. Knowing the Word of God would literally steer the course of my destiny.
This month Edee was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. When I got the news, it very much took me aback. It caused me to reflect on the 30 years that I have known her and I wondered what she’s been thinking about as she looks back on the significance of her own life.
Edee probably went to the bookstore that day, 25 years ago, and wondered if her purchase would be wasted on a dusty shelf. I can imagine that she said a prayer that this Bible would be used well as she laid those dollar bills on the counter to pay for it. I laugh to myself thinking of what God saw as she drove the few miles into town to buy a Bible for a little girl down the street. He saw my future. He saw me studying at Bible College, marrying a pastor, becoming a pastor myself, and He saw this church plant. He knew that Edee was changing my life that day.
So, Edee, in this trying time in your own life, as you are looking back over the significant moments, I hope you will add that one gift to your list. That errand on a summer afternoon made all the difference to me. In fact, I still have those two Bibles. The covers have long since been ripped off, the binding is battered, and the pages are a mess, but I have never thrown them away. When I “use up” other Bibles, they are disposed of, but these two I will keep forever.
You are in my thoughts and prayers! I trust that you will turn to the pages of the Bible as well and find the hope, strength, and determination to win this battle. I stand upon the greatness of God in this situation for you and for your family! Highlighted in the first few pages of that tattered New Testament it says, “What god is so great as our God? No god is as great as our God.” Thank you for giving me the book that taught me to believe that.