Monday, September 21, 2009

Lydia, a dyer of purple

Rev. Grabill did a wonderful job on Saturday. I thanked him personally but also thought I would share his some of his thoughts from the funeral service for Nancy Ritchey. (Mind you I was not able to stay for the whole service due to a calling and work schedule, but what I was present for was very challenging.)

Rev. Grabill, I hope that I can do justice to your challenge to us.

Rev. Grabill compared Miss Ritchey with Lydia a convert in the New Testament. Lydia extracted dye from oyster shells which was a very taxing job, she knew what hard work meant and was accomplished. She was clothed in her product and worked to cloth others in her product. Purple dye was very expensive and reserved for royalty. And we all know that Miss Ritchey was a queen among women. However, Miss Ritchey knew how to work hard and did so with her own education and for her students as well. I can remember her telling stories of some of her college days that made us all laugh, but reminded us of how much she had to work to get where she was. She was always thought of as a tough teacher, but that sentiment was always followed with “but you always learned from her.” She was clothed in her product of God’s grace and mercy. It was told that the nurses at the care facility where she was when she passed away were saddened that they could not spend more time getting to know her, because, she was so special. She also challenged her students to “wear” her royal cloth. To not only have a head knowledge of God and who He was, but to be clothed in His Righteousness. To allow His righteousness to mold us and make us vessels that would accomplish His will, this was the aim of her life.

Her funeral was a celebration of a homegoing not a mourning of the lost. May we take the admonition of such a grand teacher that same could be said of our passing.


Valorie said...

Sounds like a neat service and a great time of honoring Sister Ritchie.

Mark said...

Thanks for sharing that - I didn't make it to the funeral