Pat Oldham, a member of a former congregation, died today. During my years there Pat served in almost every capacity, official and unofficial. More than serving as committee member (and chair), lay speaker, UMW leader, etc. Pat was a woman of faith. Some might say she was a woman of faith because she had such an easy life. Those who would say such a thing didn’t know Pat.
Pat fought and overcame cancer at least three times. She’d been plagued with health problems for years. But she didn’t let it get her down. She was a woman of faith.
Pat also outlived all but one of her children. Having even one child die is hard. When I taught confirmation classes in that church, I’d take the kids on a field trip to the local cemetery. I thought they needed to learn to take death seriously – and Christianly. I took Pat with me on these field trips. After the kids wandered around a bit, looking at the gravestones, we’d talk about what they saw there. Pat would also take them to where her children were buried and talk about her experience. She was a woman of faith.
Pat’s faith leaked – it was public. She invested herself entirely in others. When she saw a need, she’d try to meet it, even if it cost her. Was the task difficult? It didn’t matter. Did it require her to do something completely new and outside her comfort zone? It didn’t matter. Pat loved people and wanted to see them know and experience Jesus. She was a woman of faith.
My prayer today is not for Pat. She doesn’t need it: she’s with Jesus. My main prayer is that God would multiply her number – raise up a hundred more!