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No Expiration Date on Irene — part 7 in a series glancing back

July 12, 2017

There’s no expiration date on God’s ability to work through people like Irene.

This diminutive lady was a very active member of a church I was honored to serve. (Ask me sometime about when she volunteered in a Nominations meeting to chair the Trustees. We walked into the first meeting with her in charge and never knew what hit us; she was the most effective, organized, and determined Trustees Chairperson I’ve seen, and I’ve seen more than my share of outstanding ones!)

She wanted to make a positive difference in young lives. She had heard stories about church camp being a fun way to invest oneself. She contacted me and eagerly asked what all was involved in being a camp counselor.

The more we talked, the more her eagerness faded. Things like trudging up and down hills all day and loud late nights dimmed her enthusiasm. Then suddenly she not only brightened up, she flooded my office with light: “Say, here’s an idea! I’ll bet, I’ll just bet, all those counselors need some help, like a support staff! I  do that!”

And so it was that Irene came to church camp.

For the next several years, hers was the voice parents and others heard when they called the camp office phone the third week of June.

She was the one often seen sitting quietly in the corner of the dining hall with a counselor, listening to stories and wrestling with questions from the life of that young adult. Frequently that other person was clergy.

Campers noticed her warm, caring and inviting spirit, and began to seek her out themselves. They regularly brought her goofy stuff, frequently using a joke as an introduction.

Irene listened.

Irene cared.

Irene personified what we United Methodists express this way: As Christians we are all called to ministry  –  not just clergy. Each of us has a responsibility to proclaim the Good News and reach out to others in love. (https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/leadership-resources/ministry-of-the-laity)

There’s no expiration date on God’s love flashing through people like Irene.

And through you, too.

 

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2 Comments
  1. Gwendy permalink

    Yes! YES! Yes! Grew up with her proverbial arms around me. And her wonderful enthusiasm and humor echo still in my heart.

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