“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” So wrote the Apostle Paul to the church in Ephesus (Ephesians 2:10) nearly 2,000 years ago as he was encouraging them about who they were as Christians and helping them to understand their purpose while they lived out their lives in this material world. I couldn’t help but reflect on these words as I contemplated the lives of two women in our community who have given of themselves to positively impact the lives of the elementary school children on our island.
Vicki passed away earlier this week, in news that came as a shock to so many here. She had done good works, as a wife, as a mother, and as a grandmother. She had also chosen to help out the kids at the school, offering up her substantial artistic talents to teach art to the kids. My two daughters, now many years removed from the elementary school, are continuing to develop their artistic talents that Vicki first nurtured along when they were her students – her kids. While performing the good works that had been prepared for her to do, Vicki touched the lives of many, helping to positively shape the lives of future generations. I don’t know that my girls ever sufficiently thanked Vicki for being willing to share her life with them, but the tears that they shed upon hearing of her passing demonstrated how much she meant to them.
There’s another woman on our island who has also done good works that God has prepared in advance for her to do. As a wife, as a mother, as a grandmother and as one who has been involved in the lives of our school kids on a regular basis, she has shared her life and blessed our community’s children with her time and talents as well. Now, as she faces her own significant health challenges, I can’t help but think about the impact that she has had on my girls and on the rest of the children who have been raised on this island. Yet this faithful woman is still with us, affording us the opportunity to say thank you in person and offer up our support however we can.
Not everyone chooses to do the good works that were prepared for them to do. Not everyone chooses to share their lives and their blessings with others, positively impacting the lives of those around them. Therefore, when people decide to live their lives in ways that bless others, we as a community should express our gratitude – both to let them know that we truly value who they are, and to hopefully inspire others to live their lives in similar fashion. So, to these two women, on behalf of my family, I say thank you for being willing to faithfully share your lives and your work with us. You have helped to shape our children, and I am grateful.
Peace and blessings – Pastor Aaron