In his second letter to the church at Corinth, Paul likens us to a fragile clay pot containing a great treasure. (2 Corinthians 4:1-18)
That great treasure is a light given to us from God that shines in our hearts. The light from The Lord provides a great power of protection over our fragile clay jars as we do His will here on earth.
Nearly sixty-six years ago God put a light in a fragile clay pot and named it Shirley. God made His light shined so brightly within that fragile clay pot named Shirley everyone could see it.
The light shined brightly as the fragile clay pot twice battled cancer.
The light shined brightly as the fragile clay pot survived the sorrow of the sudden loss of her sister.
The light shined brightly as the fragile clay pot endured the tragic death of her beloved husband Herman.
Although that fragile clay pot named Shirley was pressed on every side by troubles the grace of God allowed it never to be crushed.
Although that fragile clay pot named Shirley may have been perplexed by it all her faith in God never drove her to despair.
And Although Shirley’s fragile clay pot may have been hunted down by cancer, knocked down by loss and confused by all manner of things but God’s grace never allowed it to be destroyed.
Because of the light that God put into that fragile clay pot named Shirley.
- She may have suffered but she was never harmed.
- She may have been scared but she was never in danger.
- She may have been lonely but she was never alone.
Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians 4:10 “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
-The life of Jesus was revealed in that fragile clay pot named Shirley in the work, that she did with cancer survives and their families.
-The life of Jesus was revealed in that fragile clay pot named Shirley in the commitment she had to the profession of education with over three decades of service to the children of the Jones County School System.
– The life of Jesus was revealed in that fragile clay pot named Shirley in the love that she had for her friends, her community and her family especially for her sons “Duce” and Bill.
The life and the light of Jesus has shined in Shirley for all of us to see. And unlike with many it did not take her passing for us to realize that when we were with her we were in the presence of someone special, someone gifted and someone truly sent from God.
And as we celebrate Shirley’s homecoming we rejoice in what God has allowed us to witness. A perfect example of how to live a full positive, hopeful and giving life, lived in a fragile clay pot protected and illumined by the light of God.
Lord, thank you for the life of your servant Shirley Black. The light you gave her touched our hearts, enriched our lives and blessed the fragile clay pots that personified all who knew her.
©February 14, 2015 – Marben Bland