The Saints Who Go Before Us

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                            April 22, 2015

                                         

We have been blessed in so many ways and by so many people…and so often we don’t immediately recognize it.

Today it hit me…in an unusual way!

Today is the 96th birthday of a woman who I always saw as being a person of compassion, gentleness, and faith. Her name is Ruth Kennedy.

Now…you need to understand something! I haven’t seen Ruth in close to twenty years. I was taken back by the fact that she has a Facebook page…and is now one of my Facebook friends, although in my birthday greeting to you today I couldn’t bring myself to calling her Ruth. She has always been Mrs. Kennedy to me!

Her oldest daughter, Cindy, was a good friend of mine in high school, and several of us hung out quite often at the Kennedy mansion in Ironton, Ohio, between the flood wall and North Second Street. The Wolfe’s and Kennedy’s were  a part of the same church, and our youth group as close-knit.

Mrs. Kennedy would welcome us into her home, and then…this is important!…give us space! She would go to another part of the house and let our group of friends laugh and converse together.

She was faithful! She would sit with her husband Jim on the Vernon Street side of the sanctuary each Sunday for worship at First Baptist Church. Ruth was not a hit-and-miss attender. She was consistent and friendly and warm.

And now years later it hits me how blessed I was to have her in my life during those high school and college years.

We talk about the saints that go before us, but sometimes we are blind to the saints that are with us! And then years later…in an unexpected Facebook post you catch sight of how special someone in your past was to you.

Mrs. Kennedy was just one of many saints who affirmed my call to ministry in 1979 when I was ordained. I can see some of the other faces…Pastor Gale Baldridge, Pastor Jerry Heslinga, Bill and Sue Ball, Paul Hughes, Glenn Fairchild, Ralph and Phyllis Carrico, Ramona McCollister, Dale Clark, Betty Douglas, Rev. Earl Dale…the list could stretch on to the horizon! Some have gone on to Glory…some were like “church moms” to me…and some were encouragers. All had a part in shaping me and causing me to press on!

Happy birthday, Ruth…I mean, Mrs. Kennedy!

Explore posts in the same categories: children, Christianity, Community, Death, Faith, Grace, Parenting, Pastor, Story, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

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4 Comments on “The Saints Who Go Before Us”

  1. Martha Kennedy Alfrey Says:

    Thank you so much for this post. What a great reminder of our Godly heritage and I am so thankful for that. I’m also thankful for growing up at First Baptist and for all the saints that were a part of our lives.

  2. Laura Patterson Says:

    Your blog got me thinking of all my saints that shaped me (you being one). Thanks for reminding me! I just pray that I am on other peoples list too! I would hate to stand before Jesus and not hear the words I long to hear”Well done good and faithful servant.”

    • wordsfromww Says:

      I’m sure that you are “on the list” for many…especially Kecia’s! God gifted you to be a blessing to others!

  3. Ruth Kenndy Says:

    Thank you Bill Wolfe , love Ruth, I mean Mrs. Kennedy


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