Lou Gardner

5608042960120aLou Gardner died last night.  Surrounded by love and prayers, she went back to God who sent her to us so long ago.  Lou was a member of the church I served for 21 years and she was a memorable character, but of a type that everyone who attends a church will recognize.

Lou’s mother died when she was just a young girl, so Lou – as the oldest – became the mother to her sisters.  Lou got used to working hard.  In fact, it was very rare to see her sitting still even when she was in her late 80’s.  She was always up and doing for others.  She took care of her husband and three children.  When her children were grown, she worked as a waitress and mothered all the other people who worked at the restaurant.  Not having any grandchildren, she adopted all the children of the church as her own.  Because Lou was short, only 4’10”, all the children of the church measured their own growth by her and could tell you when they got taller than Mrs. Gardner.

Not a great pic because Lou didn't understand the concept of a "selfie"
Not a great pic because Lou didn’t understand the concept of a “selfie”

But where Lou Gardner really shone was in taking care of people.  She made dozens of phone calls a day, checking up on folks.  If you weren’t at church for a while, you got a call from Lou.  If you were sick, she would be at your house that evening with a meal.  I would often call on the shut-ins only to find out that Lou had just been there.  She worked at anything she did with joy, knowing that by serving others, she was serving the Christ she loved with her whole heart.

Most of us are privileged to know people like Lou Gardner.  Sometimes we take them for granted because they are always there, working for God.  And, although we all have different gifts, I think we should all aspire to be people like Lou:  forgetting ourselves and serving God in any way, big or small, we can.  Lou embodied the verses from Matthew 25:  Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

What are you doing to serve God?  How are you becoming one of the saints who serve without thinking of self – focused entirely on God and on others?  How can you be more joyous in the service that you do?

  • Kristin Burkey

    Lou was a wonderful woman. I looked across the aisle yesterday, where she always sat, and could see her little self sitting there and singing at the top of her
    lungs, praising God. She will be truly missed.

    • revkaren54

      She sang with her whole heart! I’m sure she is joining some heavenly choirs.

  • bethannchiles

    She sounds like an amazing woman and you were blessed to know her and she you. Thank you for sharing her with us today. I attended a funeral today for the husband of my sister’s best friend and also got the news that a man I just met in August passed away today. I am sad but know that they are both no longer in pain and that they joyously served God and set examples for the rest of us.

    • revkaren54

      Heaven is more a home to our hearts because of those we know that have gone on before us. I’m so thankful that we can look forward to being with them again.

  • Kristine Moye

    I’m so glad I got to know her. What a little ball of fire…. She was a hoot! I’d say RIP, but I think she’s probably still running around – and loving it!

    • revkaren54

      I know God still has work for someone with her loving heart to do and it will delight her soul.

  • Mary Schadle

    What a wonderful lady and such a blessing to know. Fabian and I graduated from high school with her daughter Claire Ann. She was so kind to my Joey and always had a hug for him!

    • revkaren54

      She would send John a birthday card with $5 in it every year – even after he graduated from high school!