Just to get some balance here is a story from the lips of a very old lady.
When I was an ordinand I was on placement on the north coast of Cornwall. My tutor used to send me out visiting quite often whilst she got on with more pressing things. I had the time to listen.
This lady was sitting in her arm chair. She refused communion because she just wanted to talk! That was fine I was more than happy to listen as her story poured out.
As a young woman she had been a volunteer with the Mission to Seafarers. She had helped to deal with several people who had been involved in shipping accidents off this coast. One day she was introduced to the full time official for the area. He was also young and went everywhere on his motor bike. Her eyes shone as she told me how wonderful he looked as he rode his bike along the cliffs. Their courtship was short and they married about three months after their first meeting.
Six weeks later he had a terrible accident. He came off his bike and although the hospital worked on him for a day he died. She wept whilst she told me the story.
After his death she went on working for the Mission...it was her way of feeling close to him and she had been happy to take up his work and make it hers. She was then in her seventies.. And had been a widow for 50 years. I asked if she had ever wanted to marry again. It was simple. She never stopped loving him and God and just wanted to be useful as she knew they would want her to be.
She had never had children and there were no relations..both of them had been only children...there was no one left at all in her family.
I talked to her about the people she had helped in the course of her life but she kept returning to her husbands story...he was the sun in her life and had stayed bright through all the lonely years...
I made her another cup of tea and prepared to leave her. At the door she spoke..."God sent you here today. Thank you.".
I left intending to go back soon. She died about an hour later, still in her chair and the tea untouched. she had just needed one other person to hear her story.
She was one of the unsung heroines of this life, a true child of God.
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