Joyful and triumphant

The Standard December 31, 2020

On December 16 and 19, Farmville lost two of its most beloved treasures. Pat Carr and Betty “Sis” Harris lived long lives of Christian service, which stand as obvious affirmation to the love and grace of God. The lyrics “O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant” and “Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation; Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above! Glory to God, glory in the highest. O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord” spring to life while envisioning the glad, triumphant scene these saints now are experiencing. Pat and Sis were two of the most faithful and joyful ladies you ever had the pleasure to meet, and today their joy is complete.

Faithful to God, the church and their families, they showed active faith by the way they lived and loved. Their children grew up seeing that talking about Jesus, reading Scripture, praying, inviting others to church, attending Sunday School and worship and giving to others were as natural as breathing. Pat and Sis both delighted in interacting with people and never met a stranger. They listened with interest and offered encouragement. Their smiles were almost permanent fixtures. Pat’s frequent laughter folded you in to the often-necessary reminder that truly there are many pleasant, fun and funny aspects of life. Thinking of her saying, “well, I declare” or “Lawd, have mercy” brings a smile to my face. Sis often could be found with a broom in hand. While sweeping her front porch or sitting out there, she unfailingly spoke to passers-by with a cheerful greeting. Always ready to help her many family members or anyone who needed it, Sis truly was a uniquely sweet and caring woman.

Although our hearts are heavy with loss, we must not forget the scene of great joy in heaven. Do you remember the Parable of the Talents where Jesus described servants who were entrusted with the master’s property while he was away on a journey? Two of the servants invested wisely and brought a good return to the master. Like Sis and Pat, they used conscientiously what was given to them.  As a result, the master said to them each, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:23)

As we embark upon a new year, how are our priorities lining up? What are we doing with the talents entrusted to us? How faithful are we? Like Paul, when it comes time for us to face God, let us be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4: 7-8)

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