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- General Interest
Erna Marie was her name. She was a playmate from childhood. Somewhere in the early years, she began to get sick. A lot of times she could only sit. There was no energy in her for anything else. But, she was always pleasant, and it was just nice to sit with her and do nothing.
The years grew and the illness grew with it. It turned out to be diabetes, the kind that required a lot of care. In those days little was known about the illness and you were at the mercy of it. By the eighth grade it was common to wait for her after school and she wouldn’t show up. Running into the office to find out what happened, the message was usually the same. She passed out in class, the ambulance was called, and Erna was in the hospital once again.
She didn’t go on to college. She didn’t have the strength. Instead she relied on God for all her needs. And He cared for her. Her life was a living testimony of grace under pressure. Who knows how many lives she touched.
Every year about this time I think about Erna. The last time I saw her she was in her 30s. I spotted the white cane and put my hand on her shoulder. “Erna, this is Linda. How are you doing?” My old friend was just like always. She touched me back. “Linda, I have good news. I’m going home for Christmas. I won’t last out the year.”
A few months later I read in our hometown paper that she had passed. I think of her every year about this time and how glad she was to go home for Christmas. Someday, I’ll get to go home, too, Erna. Merry Christmas.
Copies of the sermon are always available and we would love to send you a CD of it. They are free. Call (417) 543-6219 to get a copy. However, if you would rather just pick one up, they are available at Strong’s Watch Shop in Barnes Shopping Center, Ava.