If she was still alive, she would have been 87 years old today. She was born on 2/6/1935. Her name was Shirley Farley, and she was one of the greatest people I have ever known. I was so blessed by God to allow me to cross paths with this Godly woman. I could not have loved her if she was my own flesh and blood. She carried with her an aura of peace and tranquility. It is hard to describe but you sensed it right away. It comes from people who have been with Jesus. Shirley, you noticed.
I first met her as a patient many years ago in my office. Our boys were young, and the village was needing a little more help to raise them. I went home bragging on her after our first encounter and the fact Shirley seemed more than bit interested in this.
My wife was a little slower coming around but eventually decided to give her a try. We decided to trust this elderly gal with all three parts of both our hearts.
I found years later she was not an instant hit. Jace our second son was more reserved. He would not come down from upstairs and stared down and upon this strange lady who played checkers with Josh and Jarah in the great room. After a while he crept down the stairs and entered the room but kept his distance.
Shirley tried to hide a smile as he slowly came out from hiding. It wasn't long and he was at the table and in love with this stranger that would soon feel like a third grandmother to them all.
It was not long before the boys worried about us not spending time together as a couple. They suggested we go out more and of course to ask Shirley to care for them. Kim and I were insulted but amused later at first but grew used to it that they seemed disappointed when we returned home despite the hour.
It pleased me how often they went to visit her when they were old enough to drive. Years later during college days she was their first stop even before coming home. Our oldest son josh is a pilot and often he would circle her apartment before she would come out and wave from the balcony. everyone who lived in her building thought the world of her as well. Shirley was poor in health and did not have much but was quite rich in friends. Shirley, you noticed.
She gave meet a start off one of her plants years ago. It is alive and well and I think of her each and every time I water it. her plant died during one of her many hospital stays and she asked for of a start from mine. It lived on though me and returned to her. I think this is an excellent metaphor of our shared faith as many other things that return to us.
The small little church where she worshipped was a bright yellow color inside. That was her favorite color. Shirley was positive, upbeat, and was joyful. this was contagious and radiated out from her even in her darkest moments. She was a walking example of what a walk with Jesus should look like. She had many setbacks and health problems but her wonderful attitude and faith preached even louder and more stronly at those times than she could have imagined.
She gave me wise counsel and I listened to her. I trusted her with my heart. She scolded me more than once, but I listened to her because I knew she loved me and wanted only to help by speaking the truth. my wife and boys sought her out often for the same reasons, I am sure.
She asked me I if would speak at her funeral. It was one of the toughest things I have ever done. I told the packed crowd we all had lost a mentor, cheerleader, and spiritual pillar. I told them I could not imagine a world without her, and I knew they all felt the same.
I shared that Iwas still tongue tied as I tied my tie to prepare and how none of us wanted to be there. The large crowd at the small church was a testament to this special gal. Some were care givers as the facility where she spent her last days and yet she had touched them. Many told me they never knew anyone like her, like that.
I explained that I see and look at many eyes every day. What made Shirley stand out is the way she looked at us.
It was a look of unconditional love and is so rare in this world. When she looked at you, it felt warm, safe, pure. It is as close as this world comes as to have been looked upon by Jesus himself. We all should aspire to look at others with eyes of comfort instead of labels and judgement.
She helped to develop and mold my faith as much as any that I have ever known. As I write, speak, and travel she is a part of my heart and she indirectly still lives, teaches, and bears fruit even now.
She was a living walking, talking example of how we as Christians should live and conduct ourselves. she would scold me again if she would read these words because she was humble as they come. Her only request at her wake was to give God glory and offer a chance to accept Jesus as lord and savior which I was sworn to do.
I always teased her about having her name in the bible. She would always smile as I recited the last verse of Psalm 23 which goes like this:
Surly goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I shall live in the house of the lord forever.
I am sure Shirley is in heaven. She was not good enough to get there by her own merits and would be the first to admit it. She is there because she trusted Jesus as both her Lord and Savior. She knew his blood and only his blood could do what nothing else could do. It was strong enough to wash away hers sins as well as ours.
I loved her and today I praise God for her and her life. I thank him for using her to make Him known, even now
Shirley, you noticed!
Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.
A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops.
When you use your life for God's glory, everything you do becomes an act of worship.
You can preach a better lesson with your life than with your lips.
As you come up our drive and after you cross the small creek,you pass between two field stone
pillars that match the stones on our home. There is a light atop both of them . Right now, one is green and the the side is white. The green light is to show support for all the people who serve our military as well
as those who have done so in the past.
At Christmas i hang white lights along the 4 rail horse fence. We change the white one to red and
The entryway is good to go. The placement of the red and green has a reason behind it as well.
It may seem to be be random but Iassure you is not the case.
On a plane the red light is always on the left side and the green is on the right side. green and right both
have 5 letters and this was how I was taught to remember as a boy. This applies to boats as well.
Our oldest son, Josh, is a navel aviator. He and his wonderful wife , Christina, are a week or two from going
to Japan. They have lived in several places over the last few years. They lived in Fallon Nevada
most recently and we were blessed to have all of our boys and their girls under our roof and together
Since they aproached our farm from the west the right light was green and the left one was on the left
came home. When they were out east in Va it was the reversed. Japan is on the other side of the world
so I am not sure what I will do. I have not stepped it off but am told it is about as far east to west as it is
west to east.
God is a concerned loving Father who loves you so much! He has made a way for you to come
home through his son Jesus. The porch light of heaven is on . You have a green light my friend.
Because of the red blood of Jesus ,your sins are forgiven . Your approach is cleared as well as all your sins.
As far as the east is from the west,so far has removed our transgressions from us.
Yesterday I went out to check on the horses. It has again been vey hot here of late and a daily chore
to top off the water troughs will cool clear water.As I make my rounds the horses ususlly get excited when they hear the sound of our old red ATV. Because this vehicle usally has horse feeds as well as carrots, we c call it "Chuck" short for chuck wagon .
There is a mare and two young ones in the south pasture. I whistled and they did not come. I banged on the
red tubes on the gate with the scooper. It makes a sound that sounds like a hillbilly dinner bell. I had seen them the evening before and knew they were ok. I surmised they had found a place with a breeze and had it made in the shade.
I set the bright orange bucket filled with feed and carrots in front of the gate. This bucket was a physical reminder for me to "lets do this later". I had some mowing to do and that filled several hours of the afternoon. I kept looking down at the water tank seeing they had not yet drank from it and for the first time became a little concerned.
I went down to the gate and did the two tone whistle my dad taught me. I do this in honor of him and have taught my sons to do the same. They all would turn and prick up their earsand know it was me if I did this even in a crowd.
I banged again on the gate and in no time flat heard the three of them flat out running as hard as they could
go. They seemed happy to see me and even more to see Chuck .They were breathing heavy as they devoured their snacks.
My friend I believe God is calling all of us. As we read Scripture, we learn he calls us all differently . Many people tell me after I speak that I missed my calling. I would quite my practice and enroll in seminary school tomorrow if I felt in my heart that is what God wanted for me. I answered my "call to the see" many years ago. I love the interaction I have with patients for the most part. I never would have believed God would and could could use me to write these stories for his glory.
He has blended and used the very things I love and hold dear such as horses, hunting , and rivers . I am often very surprised at how stories and lessons come together in such a way that I know it is not me but him working through me. Here is the exciting part, he wants to do the same with you. You may not be called to write or do eyes but you are being called . What do you do that gives you joy and satisfaction? There is your best clue in regard to what God is calling you to do.
I pray that at times this website feeds you. I write for all God's people and not just those who gather under the steeple. All I know is when I do this with the hope of pleasing my Savior, it just feels so "write"!
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things
you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3
When you empty yourself, God rushes in.
For the man who prays in his heart ,the whole world is a church.