Psalm 15

One Sunday afternoon last summer, I visited my high school Sunday school teacher who had reached 94 years of age. Mrs. Powell was a powerful mentor in my life and a remarkable leader in my home church. In 1987, she was the first woman to be ordained as a deacon, and that moment changed me. As a 15-year-old girl, I had never seen or imagined a woman being ordained. As I watched through tears that night, I knew for certain what I believed about God calling women, and I also knew that I would never compromise on being part of a faith community that believed the same. I had never really told Mrs. Powell how much that moment meant to me.

Mrs. Powell greeted my friend and me looking distinguished, beautiful, and impeccably dressed. She was smaller and weaker than I remembered, but her mind was sharp and her warmth unchanged. I told her everything I always wanted to say about that evening in 1987. We also got to say something else. After my friend and I acknowledged what a leader and a trailblazer she was, we explained what her inner strength, her quiet humility and her faithful spirit meant to us. In fact, when it was time for us to pray together before leaving, her only request was that we pray for the future of the church. Six days later, I learned that Mrs. Powell had died.

The psalmist asks God who will abide in God’s sanctuary. What
follows is a description of a strong inner life that leads to a strong
outward witness. Experiencing the presence of those who abide with
God changes us. May we seek to know those kind of saints and to live
that kind of life.


Remember a saint of God who influenced your life in a powerful way and give thanks.


Holy God, thank you for those people in our lives who witness the love of Christ. May we learn from them and may we desire to offer the same influ- ence for others we meet. Amen.

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