Mrs. Brown, as we all called her, was a ray of sunshine at the nursing home. As we pass through this world with all it’s troubles, sometimes the Lord sends someone into our lives who is truly a blessing. Mrs. Brown was one of those persons.
In remembering her, a word that comes to mind is “kind”. Mrs. Brown was a kind woman. She surely was not afraid to speak truth, but she did it with kindness. She was a defender of “the faith” and a defender of those who preached “the faith”. She also “looked out” for the people around her, people like my mother. She was an encourager. Whenever we were with her, we always walked away encouraged. In site of her physical suffering, she encouraged us. She had a cheerfulness that was contagious. After you left Mrs. Brown’s company you felt good!
My husband and I looked forward to seeing her at the Christian services that we held at the nursing home, and if she couldn’t make it because she wasn’t feeling well she would be disappointed and we would be disappointed too. Happily that didn’t happen too often. During the services Mrs. Brown would always sit right next to my mother. She would fully participate in every service. She praised and called upon the name of Jesus with a loud voice during the worship. When my husband preached, Mrs. Brown would be our “amen corner”. She would often say to him while he was preaching “you take your time” which is a way of saying I like what you’re preaching because you are preaching truth. Then, after every sermon, she would publicly thank him for coming and giving everyone “meat to feast on during the week”, of course referring to the meat of God’s Word that she had just heard. She would tell him that he taught the bible clearly and made it easy to understand. And it wasn’t just during services that she called upon the name of Jesus. One day, as I got on the elevator I heard someone calling Jesus, Jesus, and saw that it was Mrs. Brown. She was calling on her Lord for help because she had just come back from dialysis and wasn’t feeling well.
One day Mrs. Brown asked my husband if he could play the hymn “Peace In The Valley” on his guitar. He couldn’t, but over the next few weeks he learned it for her. Then, one day, we went up to her room with the guitar and played “Peace In the Valley” along with many other hymns. The three of us worshiped the Lord together right there in her room. You could truly sense the presence of the Lord that day. She told my husband that he was her “graveyard pastor” and that she wanted him to share the Word of God at her funeral service. An interesting and appropriate phrase I thought, considering we minister to many who are in their last days of life on this earth. Mrs. Brown died and went to be with the Lord just a few short weeks after that day and, as she requested, my husband did share God’s word at her “going home service”.
What else can I say but that we truly miss her, and things just “aren’t the same” without her. Even so I am joyful to know that Mrs. Brown is alive in heaven with the Lord, and that we will see her again one day. Scripture tells us in Luke 20:38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. She has left this earth to go on ahead of us, gone to the promised land, where one day we will meet up with her again. Praise the Lord!
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
I wrote this poem about Mrs. Brown, a resident at the nursing home where my father lived. We held Sunday services there and she attended regularly. We came to know and dearly love Mrs. Brown. She called my husband her “graveyard pastor” and asked him to preach at her funeral.
She came to church, though wheelchair bound.
For service, dressed so fine.
And when the preacher, preached the Word,
She shouted “take your time.”
We looked for her, when Sunday came,
She loved her Jesus so.
This church we had, imagine that,
Was in a nursing home.
Old Mrs. Brown, one day she asked,
The preacher, play a song.
A song unknown, we had to learn,
But knew it before long.
Guitar in hand, we were prepared,
She heard her song, so dear.
Up in her room, we sang and praised,
and sensed that death was near.
My graveyard pastor, that you are,
My husband heard her say.
You preach the word, just like I’ve heard,
You do it every day.
A way with words she had, but yet,
You’d hardly see a frown.
A story told, that once she said,
“Time has slow walked me down.”
It wasn’t long, before she’d gone,
With love our hearts did swell.
And preach he did, when gathered all,
To say their last farewell.
So now the place, where she would sit,
Is empty, she’s not there.
But grateful are we to the Lord,
Her life we had to share.
This ministry to old and sick,
A gift from God to me.
The ministry from them to us,
Much greater, now I see.
Peace in the Valley’s melody,
That was upon her heart.
One last request from Mrs. Brown,
So glad we had a part.
Cathy White 2007 ©