"Welcome to my blog space. I believe that God has carefully placed gems in our paths to fill our days with joy. The challenge for us is to take the time to notice them. My desire is to share the gems in my life so that, hopefully, you will see the ones He's placed in yours. I hope what you read here will be worth your time and you'll want to return often." - Cathy

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Gem in my Path

Ruth Brown
Still Driving at 96 years old
I spent some time yesterday with a dear friend who is ninety-eight years old. Within the last six months she voluntarily moved to a nursing home, mainly motivated by fear. She doesn’t walk anywhere without her walker anymore, afraid of falling and breaking a hip. The home she’s occupied since she was two years old sits empty. Even before she moved, she wouldn’t stay there at night anymore because she was mortally afraid (her words) to stay by herself. She spent many a night in my guest room over the last four years.

I met Ruth Thompson Brown in the early ‘80s when she was the director for the combined choirs from Gilboa, Gilkey and Thermal City Methodist churches. She was spunky and knew what she wanted and wouldn’t settle for any less. She would have us take a piece of music, study the words for about two minutes and then she’d say, “Okay, put the words down by your side and sing.” And she meant it. She expected the best from us and didn’t want anything to impede the best performance we could produce. Pep talks included the fact that God had given us good minds and there was no reason not to use them. She stretched our thinking and our doing.

She taught seventh and eighth grades for 40+ years, using unconventional methods to  her students along. She’s told me success stories of nonreaders or slow readers she worked with, tailoring a program for each one based on their particular learning style. Most of those children went on to college or to jobs where they became productive citizens who supported their families. I think knowing she cared about them played a big part in their improvement.

Miss Ruth called me Tuesday afternoon and said, “I’m lonely, lonely, lonely. Will you come by when you can?” I had planned to stop by after Bible Study on Wednesday so I told her I’d see her about 2:30 the next day.  When I drove up she was sitting in a rocking chair on the porch of the facility.  I got out and asked if she’d like to go for a ride and get some ice cream. She was as thrilled as a small child would be when presented with that question. I signed her out and off we went like two teenagers on a lark, talking and laughing. It was a beautiful day for a ride.

When we returned and I signed her back in, she asked me if I wanted to know what advice she’d give young people. Of course, I did. “First,” she said, “always be right with the Lord. Always.” She continued with, “Do what you want to do while you’re young. You may get sick or not live to be old and you’ll miss out on a lot of life.” Sage advice, I’d say, from someone who has experienced a huge chunk of life.

Jesus came to give His children life and that more abundantly. Mrs. Ruth Thompson Brown may not have worldly wealth but she has stored up an abundance of riches in the people she has loved along the way. I count myself blessed to be one of those. Who are the gems God has placed in your path? I hope you’ll share them with my readers

Going out with joy today-

Jesus said. . .”I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”   John 10:10 ESV

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.     Matthew 6:19-20 ESV


  1. What a blessing you are in her life too. I've always admired the friendship you have kept with Mrs. Brown. It's a relationship that I know is not always easy but your kindness is a statement of your character and your loving Godly spirit. Truly loving thy neighbor as thyself.

    1. Thanks, Linc! You are also one of the gems God has placed in my path. Your comments are more than kind, but God gets all the glory. Only He could empower me to overcome my natural sinful tendencies so I can love my neighbor like He wants me to. Blessings to your precious family!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Mary Jane! You're the bombdiggetty!

  3. What a sweet pos. Roth sounds amazing! You too! Thanks for being her friend.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Holly! Ruth is an amazing woman. I could have written much more about her but decided to save some for another day. Blessings to you and yours!