I'm 47 and I teach the "old ladies" in Sunday School. I have for 12 years now. Many of these women taught my father when he was a boy and a teenager in church and some of them taught me in Vacation Bible School and children's Sunday School.
Now I am teaching them. They range in age from 79-96. Many of them have died over the last 12 years and right now, one of them has Alzheimer's so badly that when I was visiting in her home last month, I had to introduce myself to her at least twice and I'm not sure if she ever grasped who I was.
Let me tell you a story about one of them.
Mrs. Alice* (*all names have been changed)
Mrs. Alice is 93. She was born in 1916. She has outlived two husbands. She is tough as nails (in a Godly and good way), a woman that the devil, himself, should be scared to reckon with, and she is a MIGHTY, MIGHTY voice for God. My father said that she has always been this way, even when he was a small child and she was just a young mother. I am awestruck to be in her presence each week.
Mrs. Alice only had one child. A daughter named Sylvia who was born in 1935. Sylvia was a drop-dead gorgeous beauty queen who married a wonderful man and had three young children. All very pleasant and normal.
Then one day, sometime in the 1960's, someone broke into Sylvia and her husband's house and murdered her. Brutally. Coldly. Intentionally. My mother remembers and said that it was all very cruel.
The murderer was never found. Whomever it was wanted to pin it on her husband. Less than a week later, her husband was murdered and it was made to look like a suicide. The police said that they didn't believe that he killed himself nor his wife, that someone wanted HIM dead and orchestrated the whole thing.
The truth of who killed them, in THIS life, will never come forth.
Mrs. Alice's testimony is this.
She said that she grieved, obviously. She was angry, obviously. And she questioned God ...... obviously.
She said that most difficult thing was coming to church and to Sunday School (with some of the VERY same ladies that she STILL is in Sunday School with after all these years).
She said that all she could do was to look around the room at all the mothers who still had their children. One of them has six children and one of them even had twelve.
She said that she was very, very angry that her ONLY child was taken and taken so hideously.
She said that at first, she questioned God and said to Him, "Why did you take MY child .... my ONLY one."
Then she said that she got angrier when she didn't get a response from Him. She began to say, "Why didn't you take one of THESE women's children? They all have more than one. Why didn't you take one of THEIRS and leave MINE alone?!?!?!?!?"
Then, in despair over being defiant before God, all she could ask was "Why? Why?"
She said that one day, His answer came. And it gave her great peace, comfort, and she was able to move on with her life and that she NEVER questioned God again.
When she told me this story in Sunday School the first time (she's shared it three times over the past 12 years) I was waiting on baited breath to hear God's answer that He gave her. It must have been supremely GRAND if it gave her so much comfort.
It must have been a complete and totally satisfying answer with all of the details of God's plan for her to have had peace about it and to be able to move on.
Or so I thought....
She said that when all she could do when her anger was spent and there was nothing left but despair, God gave her His answer as to why her child, her only child was taken, and her friends' children were spared.
His answer? The one that gave her so much comfort and relief? God told her, "That's My business."
To this day, Mrs. Alice and her ram-rod straight, spiritual backbone and her boldy penetrating eyes that defy anyone to rebel against her God .... her God of comfort ....
.... well, she just amazes me. I want to emulate her faith more than anything.
I just thought you might like to know about this woman and her faith.