Totally unexpected; how many times has this expression been used in reference to the sudden death of a family member or friend. Such is the case of Phyllis, a Christian, Mother, friend and neighbor. The personal sadness incurred with her passing cannot compete with the overwhelming joy of knowing that ‘we’ will see her again. In the meantime, the memories of our life with her will bring us joy, laughter and comfort. She was a good friend, a true sister-in-the-Lord.
Phyllis left behind her beloved companions “Sparky” and “Cali”. Her pets brought her great pleasure and happiness. We would sit and laugh at the antics of Cali, the cat, attacking Sparky, her beautiful playful dog. Most everyday, when the weather was appropriate, Phyllis would take Sparky out to play ball. I would sometimes open the window and talk to ‘Sparky’ watching him wag his tail gleefully at the sound of my voice. She shared her beloved pets with the rest of the ‘Four Musketeers’ and we a grateful for the memories. Sadly, not all of her neighbors appreciated Sparky and Cali, and their unkind words troubled Phyllis, piercing her heart.
In addition to her pets, Phyllis had a love for the out-of-doors and God’s Creation. During the summer months she could be seen outside tending to the flowers and landscaping around the apartment complex. She single-handedly cleared all the overgrowth, weeds and trash and made it a most appealing sight to gaze upon. This was one example of her penchant for serving others.
Thelma, our 92-year-old resident ‘granny’ was blessed by the caring attentiveness of her friend, Phyllis. On many, many occasions, Phyllis would chauffeur Thelma to the Doctor, the grocery or even just out to eat. There was not a day that went by the she did not check in on her elderly friend. We were quite often convicted by the compassion and consideration which Phyllis exhibited in her life. You see, Phyllis did not do these things to make herself look good, or for monetary gain, she did them because it was the right thing to do.
You see, Phyllis was not an ordinary lady. She was a blood bought born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Of her own admission, there was a time in her life that she realized that she was a sinner on her way to hell. She believed that the Bible, the inspired, infallible Word of God stated in Romans 3:23 ‘That all had sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ Furthermore she accepted the truth of Romans 6:23 ‘That the wages of sin is death (spiritual separation from God) but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. At that particular moment, Phyllis called upon Jesus to forgive her sins and to save her; and she was gloriously and wonderfully saved. She knew that when she died that she would go to heaven to be with Jesus, and there, my friend is where she is this very moment.
God began a new work in her, and Phyllis willingly sought to serve the Lord. She was faithful in reading her Bible, praying and attending her church. She thoroughly enjoyed sharing Jesus with the other members of the Four Musketeers, Nancy, Deb, and Diann; her Sisters-in-the-Lord. What great times of fellowship we had studying God’s Word together. These memories will last for eternity.
You see, my friend, we will see Phyllis again! Whether is be by death or by rapture, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when we die, we will spend eternity in heaven. This is not because we have lived such a sinless life or have performed an enormous amount of good deeds; it is because we, like Phyllis, realized that we were sinners on our way to hell; that Jesus shed his innocent blood on the Cross of Calvary, and that he died to give us the gift of eternal life. We cannot work our way to heaven by going to church, giving money to the poor or any other human attempt at achieving a home in heaven. It can only come by believing on the name of the Lord Jesus. Romans 10:13 Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved; because John 3:16 For God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. We will see Phyllis again, Will you?
FYI: Photo is a facsimile of Sparky