There Are Still Some Good Role Models

Bob Smith, Student Ministries Catalyst

Leo has asked each one of the MWBC staff to share devotional thoughts during this time of uncertainty. Each day we are confronted with mixed messages. In the early days of the pandemic the general public was encouraged to not wear masks or other types of protective coverings. The thought was these were in short supply and they should be saved for those on the front lines, the medical professionals. As a result we were encouraged to shelter inside and self-quarantine. Then it was reported that about 80% of the new cases of Covid-19 were among those who were inside. Next, we were encouraged to get outside and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Well, I would like to share some sunshine of a different sort.

Her name was Juanita Nettie Bull. She was born in a small town in Texas near the Oklahoma border in the early part of the last century. She relocated to Bishop, Texas where she met and married Charlie Gibson. When she died a few years ago at the age of 94, I was asked to share some thoughts at her funeral. Here are just a few that I trust will encourage and challenge us today.

She was a creative genius. She could do wonders with everyday material. She was a woman of genuine kindness. I never heard her raise her voice or speak ill of anyone. She would not have thought of herself as a theologian or a philosopher, but she knew the difference between wisdom and knowledge. (Wisdom is knowing what to do with knowledge.) I once heard her say to Charlie, “You don’t need to say everything that you know.

She was a woman who could extend grace. I learned this first-hand when she overlooked a movie recommendation that I never intended for her to hear. Most of all she was a woman of deep faith. In one of our last conversations she told me that she as ready to meet Jesus whenever the time came. Being at peace with God is the greatest gift that you can give to those you care most about.

‘Nita, thank you for the example you set for us. You see, she was not only a Godly woman, she was my mother-in-law.

Father, thank you for all of those who serve to encourage us. Amen.