We received a call this morning from Lucy's son letting us know that Lucy passed away last night. In his own words, we were informed that "Lucy has graduated". She was a strong believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and those of us who know the Lord know that, "to live is Christ, to die is gain"!
We met Lucy in September of 2011. She was sitting in her wheelchair at a small bible study that Michael and I attended at Atria just a few weeks prior to him starting his Pastoral Care Ministry and Sunday Preaching ministry there. I recall that first meeting vividly. Myrtle, who has since gone home to be with the Lord, was easy to get to know and did a great deal of interacting. Lucy, on the other hand, did not speak a word the entire time. After the study concluded, I sat with her and discovered many things about her. She was suffering with Parkinson disease and was having a rather difficult time dealing with her limited ability to do physical things; but there was still a twinkle in her eyes as we talked. Lucy and I felt an immediate love for one another.
After meeting Lucy at that Bible Study, Lucy regularly attended the Sunday services that Michael led at Atria, and we got to know her quite well. As Lucy's strength declined she was transferred to The Terraces at Roseville and Michael (with me accompanying him on occasion) continued to visit her on a weekly basis. Deni (my best friend) would also stop in weekly and minister to Lucy. It was through our visits with Lucy at the Terraces that we found out about the Friday morning Bible study there where it turned out that one of my old friends from Grace Bible Church, Arnold, led the study. Although Lucy was later moved to another facility (Eskaton), Michael has continued to partner with Arnold in ministry every Friday morning at the Terraces.
Once Lucy was moved to Eskaton, we continued to visit with her there and Michael and Deni continued to meet with her on a regular basis at different times during the week. When I was visiting with Lucy she would always tell me the truth about her struggles and how difficult is was to be so physically helpless. Because Lucy was transferred to Eskaton, Michael felt led to meet with the activity director to discuss the possibility of a Sunday morning service for the residents there. He was told that they had not had one in 2 years, but would welcome one. Michael would not be able to fill that need; but, he wanted to make sure that it would be filled and so he passed along the information to another church (Immanuel Baptist Church of Sacramento) and now one of our dear brothers in the Lord, Paul Little, will be coordinating an every Sunday service at Eskaton--providing both a worship service for the residents and an opportunity for many other men to use their gifts in this ministry area.
We still marvel at how God used our relationship with Lucy and Michael's faithfulness to God and the Ministry to help fill so many spiritual needs in two additional facilities. We had been praying that God would grant Lucy peace regarding her situation and also that she would be used by God in the midst of her own suffering. God answered that prayer! Just recently Lucy told Michael that for the first time in her life she shared Christ and the gospel with one of the other residents. She also has recently told Michael that she has stopped fighting and has peace.
Lucy is still at Eskaton and we will be visiting with her tomorrow evening. But; after checking the mail tonight, I simply had to post a little bit about Lucy. There is so much more to the story; and someday I hope to have the time to share more of the details of how the Lord used, and is using, a 90+ year old little lady with Parkinson's disease named Lucy to work His will in so many people's lives.
Thank you Lord and Thank you Lucy - We love you!