Ms. Edith

 

The second row from the alter, on the left side of the center aisle, the first place on the pew, is now empty of her earthly presence, but her memory lives on in the hearts of those like me, who loved her. She was a mentor, guidance counselor, disciplinarian and friend; I know she was cherished by her biological family, but to the faithful at Black Springs Baptist Church, Edith Collins Hardage was a treasure, she was a prayer partner extraordinaire and it was an honor and privilege to worship with her.

The unique "Chrismons" that adorn the Christmas tree at Black Springs Baptist Church were a result of her creative mind; I understand that she enlisted the assistance of the youngsters to help create the symbols; they might be fashioned from ordinary paper, string, and glue and embellished with simple pearl beads but to our members, they are priceless. She also introduced the "Blossoming of the Cross" that we celebrate at Easter but that is a story for another time.

Chrismons are representations that are used to adorn the trees of Christians and are usually colored white and gold; the white symbolizes the pureness of Jesus Christ and the gold symbolizes His glory. The decorating of our sanctuary has evolved over time, becoming more beautiful as the years pass, as the faithful volunteers skillfully adorn the church each year, they enhance and improve the holiday settings, but those precious Chrismons remain.

I became closer to Ms. Edith when I wrote a narrative for our church newsletter, for several years I wrote a column for the monthly publication that outlined details about a "mysterious church member" without disclosing their name or any details that defined them. During those interviews she told some awesome chronicles that will remain in my heart forever. She loved the Lord, adored her family, enjoyed her friends, served her church and prayed frequently for friends and even strangers.

We have a passion for unique words and frequently shared them, we had a habit of writing our thoughts in vivid colors, and yes, we both penned countless thoughts in our personal Bibles. She and I both love horses, and rode in our earlier years, of course I never owned a Grand Champion, but Ms. Edith did. We adored our two sons and four grands, two boys and two girls each, and the register of the things we had in common goes on indefinitely.

Ms. Edith insisted that I was not to write this chronicle until I could do it with a song in my heart and a smile on my face; I have done my best to honor that promise although the tears are never far away when I reminisce about my esteemed friend. Her favorite song, as her friends will never forget is "His Eye is on the Sparrow", and for us, it has a greater meaning because of Edith and her ministry.

So, I will end this narrative with the words she might speak, Merry Christmas to you and your family and Happy Birthday to Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen and amen.

 

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