Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Old Wine Personified

This morning, as I was writing about old wine, there was one person visible in my mind's eye. Mrs. Frances Nash. She was the mother of a childhood friend, an active member of the church I attended as a child, and the nicest high school cafeteria worker I ever met. (When I became a mother myself, I realized she was likely there to keep an eye on her growing boys, but we had no idea at the time.) After her husband retired, they made their home in a Tupelo retirement community and, once again, attended the same church as I. 

Mrs. Nash always smiled. Lots of people smile with their mouths, but Mrs. Nash smiled with her heart. When her husband retired from his position as a college professor, she smiled happily at the change. When they downsized to a retirement cottage, she smiled and thanked God for their tiny home. As their health faded, she smiled and rejoiced in whatever God allowed, while tenderly caring for those around her. 

She clipped newspaper articles and mailed them with lovely notes to my son. When I complemented a cake she'd baked, she mailed me a hand-written copy of the recipe, along with a lovely note. When hard times came my way, there was a lovely note that assured me of her love and prayers. Those little notes flowed from her heart of love and touched me at a deep level. I have saved every one. 

There has never been a person who received as joyfully or gave as freely as Mrs. Nash. My son and I went caroling at their retirement cottage most years. We always planned to bless her and Dr. Nash, but we were the ones who received the greatest blessing. I can see her now, smiling that giant smile, holding her hands over her heart at she listened, clapping when we finished singing, and hurrying to get a gift she had for Ryan "just in case we came by". 

These are the words I wrote this morning: "Old wine is a word picture of the mature Christian, who should be so free of the sediment of immaturity that he has developed the goodness and kindness of God Himself." As I wrote those words, I thought to myself, old wine is a word picture of Mrs. Nash. She moved again a few days ago, this time to her heavenly home. At the visitation tonight, I very nearly told her son, "Your mother was old wine to me." I didn't, because I wasn't sure he would understand. 

Old wine. What a perfect picture of a dear woman who was not only filled with the Spirit of God but left the lingering fragrance of Christ everywhere she went!