Sunday, February 15, 2009

In Memorium

Jesus says to Peter in the New Testament, "Simon, son of John do you love me...[then] feed my sheep." John 20:15

Do you remember that old Sunday School song, "I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together?" It goes on to say, "the church is not a building, the church is not a a steeple, the church is the people." Today I want to remember someone who lived both the song and the verse. This lady was Bonnie. Bonnie passed away over a year ago. This morning in the shower I started thinking about her and about the legacy she left me and countless others who remember her.

Bonnie was a legend among my friends in MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship). She was the best cook in the church. She made the best soup. She made a peanut butter sandwich and you thought it was prime rib. I mean she was just awesome. I remember Bonnie mostly for her cooking, but also as my Sunday school teacher, my Children's Hour teacher (precursor to MYF for the younger kids), craft helper, snack/meal provider. Her daughter and I took dance lessons together. I spent the night at her house. She liked cats.

Bonnie was quiet. I'm not sure I ever had a conversation lasting more than 30 seconds at a time with her. But she was one of the most faithful people to our MYF. She never missed a snack/meal for us. When we went on trips, she made food for us to take so we didn't have to buy any. She helped me memorize the books of the Bible during VBS (vacation Bible school). I cannot think of my life in the church without thinking of Bonnie. She was a treasure. And I am sad that she is no longer with us. I still have my Christmas ornament I made in her first grade Sunday school class. It is green and red beaded wreath with a plastic reindeer glued in the center and a red ribbon on top to hide the wire at the top. I cherish all of my Christmas ornaments, but I always always stop and remember her when I pull that one out.

I am remiss that I never got to say thank you to Bonnie when she was alive. And I am even more at fault for not writing this before now and sending it to her daughter. But I'm writing it now. I can only imagine how often the Lord spoke to Bonnie and said, "Bonnie, do you love me? Then feed my sheep." And she did. Every single time. The church is so much more than a place to worship. If you ever wonder how the church can change your life, wonder no more. It's been 15 years since I have been to my old church, and yet in my mind, it's Sunday afternoon and I can see Bonnie's car yet pulled up next to the side entrance of the fellowship hall. Her daughter running down the hill towards us as we jump out of the backseat. There is Bonnie, balancing a cake in one hand and opening her trunk to take in what we all know will be a great meal after our flag football in the side yard before the lesson. Thank you Bonnie for feeding us body and soul, week after week, Sunday after Sunday.

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