Still Driving at 96 years old
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